Jean-Michel Basquiat., graffiti artist, musician, painter, cultural icon, man. Basquiat was born January 22nd 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. He’s the second of four children born to Gerard and Matilde Basquiat. He is of both Hatian and Puerto Rican descent, that being said, by the age of 11 he was fluent in English, Spanish and Hatian Creole. Taking a step back, his artistic career started at age 6 after his parents separated and met a brutal car accident while he was playing basketball. While in the recovery room, his mother gave him a copy of Grey’s Anatomy which became the foundational basis for his work. He was instantly fascinated with the internal architecture of the human body as well as the way the book was able to break down the body into clean lines.
Basquiat began using the alias Samo© while in his early 20’s while spray painting walls and bridges in lower Manhattan which led into Basquiat and his fellow students creating a newspaper called “Basement Blues Press” where they wrote an article featuring testimonials talking about how converting to Samo© changed their lives. By 24 he was selling his art for $25,000 a piece, earning the respect and recognition deserved of him. He was a friend of Andy Warhol, an artistic innovator, as well as a talented creator who helped lay the foundations of modern day hip-hop culture. It’s a shame that Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the greatest artists in history wasn’t able to see it all come to fruition.
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