R.I.P. Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

Born in Brooklyn  Jean Michel Basquiat built a name for himself as a graffiti artist in the streets of New York. What began as graffiti under the tag name SAMO (short for same old shit), evolved into some of the greatest neo expressionist and contemporary art to date. Basquiat’s paintings were credited for capturing the African American experience, and portraying it at an elite level. His work was often inspired by heritage, equality, and the world that surrounded him.  Basquiat was known for painting in Armani suits, dating Madonna and producing Hip Hop tracks in the late 70s early 80s. He continues to inspire the art world, hip hop culture and #GWOP in 2013.  Basquiat died on August 12, 1988 of heroin overdose at age 27.  According to Christie’s ,Jean-Michel Basquiat left 917 drawings, 25 sketchbooks, 85 prints, and 171 paintings.

Checkout Basquiat’s first film Downtown 81

“The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but he’s paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so he’ll have a place to spend the night.

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