Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat rose from New York's underground graffiti scene to become a legendary neo-expressionist artist. His bold canvases blend text, symbols and social commentary to highlight racial issues and challenge social norms.

Basquiat passed away in 1988 at only 27. By then he had already achieved a level of fame that few artists can hardly imagine, and no Black artist had achieved before him.

Obnoxious Liberals, 1982

Walking catwalks, hanging with Andy Warhol, even dating Madonna. Overwhelmed by his own success and the paradox of Black celebrity, his art questioned: 

What does it mean for a Black man to be the best boxer in the world, when society has already labelled you inherently violent?

What does it mean to be a Black artist in a world that barely sees you as human? Basquiat reckoned with the history of race and class, creating a body of work that is as radical politically, as it is stylistically.

Beef Ribs Longhorn, 1982

Melting Point of Ice, 1984

With Strings Two, 1983



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