Jean Michel Basquiat (1960-1988, New York) is one of the first African-American artists to achieve international recognition and a critical place in the art market.
Basquiat's work is a compendium of symbology and references stemming from a diverse cultural identity. Cognizant of his African heritage, the artist incorporated anti-racist concepts into his work and depicted important characters from Black American culture as a social commentary.
Considered a disciple of Andy Warhol, Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was exposed to Pop Art and pop culture in general, and was involved the urban cultural movement in the late 1970’s. While drawing from stimuli of his own time, to which he was permeable, Basquiat was influenced by Greco-Roman, African, Aztec and Hispanic imaginary as well. He was an artist with an insatiable thirst for learning. He built his own iconography, which was extraordinarily complex and referentially rich. The physical and gestural aspects of his creative process have often brought him closer to American neo-expressionism.
Basquiat died at the age of 27, leaving behind a vast and influential artistic legacy that has become an undisputed turning point in the history of art of the 20th century. Today, he is one of the most quoted artists in the current international art market.