Artist in History

An artist in history is going to be a place where young, aspiring artists can find more information out about famous artist that they may, or may not know about.

And for our second edition of an artist in history, we will be learning about the life of graffiti artist and self-taught painter; Jean Michel Basquiat.

Jean Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. Basquiat began drawing at a very early age in his life and his mother encouraged him to continue with his artistic talents. A while before he was a famous painter, he was known as his graffiti name, SAMO, and would sell different postcards and sweatshirts with his own art on it.

For years Basquiat was struggling with his art, but in 1980 luck hit him when he was a part of a group show that he received critical acclaim for his work and his work was admired by the public.

In 1981, Basquiat met Andy Warhol. The two began to collaborate on a series of paintings and grew a lasting friendship. Their collaboration lasted from 1983 to 1985. At only 25 years old, Jean Michel Basquiat sold almost sixty of his paintings at the Kestner-Gesellschaft Gallery in Germany, which made him the youngest artist to ever display his work there.

On February 22, 1987, Andy Warhol died. Warhol’s death hit Jean Michel hard and he quickly started to deteriorate.

Just a few months later on August 12, 1988, Jean Michel Basquiat died from a drug overdose. He was only 27 years old. Basquiat continues to inspire generations of young artists and his lasting part in the Neo-expressionism art movement.

“I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.” – Jean Michel Basquiat

Image found on Kreol Magazine Website

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