Classic Artits of the Week #5 - Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel was born to a poor faminy in Brooklyn in 1960. His childhood was full of trauma - first, a car accident, splenectomy, his mother being taken to a mental institution and him running from home at fifteen. Not to mention everything else that a black men from Brooklyn was subjected to growing in the 60s and 70s.

Basquiat began his artistic career as a graffiti painter around New York under the pseudonym SAMO. Then, he started appearing in TV shows, made and produced music and collaborated with Andy Warhol, to name just a few. By the 1980 he has already gained significant fame and switched to neo-expressionism (which we show in this post), characterized by simplified lines, bursts of clear color and emphasis placed on emotions. Jean-Michel had another badass feature - he worked in expensive Armani suits and then appeared in public in the same, paint-splattered clothes.

The works clearly show his state of mind at the time - disturbing images of a twisted, damaged mind but with a great sensitivity. He overdosed heroin when he was 27 years old.

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