Basquiat, Jean-Michel Biography
American painter, whose work first appeared as graffiti on the streets and subways of New York City. He was the most successful of a number of so-called street artists, whose work crossed over into New York City's gallery scene in the early 1980s. His works mix imagery from African, Caribbean, European, and popular art.
The son of a Haitian father and a mother of Puerto Rican descent, Basquiat grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He had no formal art training beyond high school, but on his own he energetically explored a wide range of imagery and influences, ranging from comic books to Egyptian hieroglyphics, from the works of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso to children's art.
Initially feverishly productive, Basquiat grew increasingly undependable under the stresses of fame. Although he tried to overcome a heroin habit, he died of a drug overdose in his Manhattan loft when he was just 27.
Basquiat’s famous oil paintings include:
- Obnoxious Liberals
- Anybody Speaking Words
- Self-Portrait as a Heel, Part Two