Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) is an American artist who was part of the neo-expressionism movement. He started as a street artist and sprayed graffiti all over lower Manhatton as part of Samo©. Samo©, pronounced “Same-Oh”, was the tag he and Al Diaz and used developed together. At the age of just 21, Basquiat became the youngest artist to take part in documenta, an art exhibition which takes place every 5 years in Kassel, in Germany. Just one year later he become the youngest ever artist to exhibit at the Whitney Biennial in New York.
His art grew into poetry, drawing and painting took inspiration from hip-hop, punk and street art. His art often reflected social commentaries around wealth inequality, poverty, racism and the class struggle. Basquiat is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
Basquiat’s artwork has increased significantly in value since his death with a painting of a skull being sold for $110 million in 2017, this set a new record high for an American artist at auction.
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