Jean-Michel Basquiat

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  • Topic: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mona Lisa, Basquiat
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  • Published : December 10, 2007
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Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a painter and a graffiti artist. His work is mostly composed of graffiti, paintings on canvas and other mixed media compositions. Basquiat seemed interesting because, even though he did not live a long time, his life seemed to be filled with drama. His works seem interesting because they have a story behind them and they are supposed to be very political. Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960, in Brooklyn, NY. Basquiat's mother, Matilde, was Puerto Rican and his father, Gerard Jean-Baptiste, was Haitian. When he was young, Basquiat was encouraged by his mom to expresses himself with his artwork. In 1977, when he was 17, Basquiat and his friend Al Diaz started spray-painting graffiti buildings in lower Manhattan with the signature of "SAMO" or "SAMO shit" which meant "same ol' shit". In 1978, in his junior year, Basquiat dropped out of Edward R. Murrow High School and left home. He moved into the city and survived by selling T-shirts and postcards on the street. By 1979, Basquiat gained popularity in Manhattan. This was due to his appearances on ‘TV Party’, which was a live public-access cable show. In the late 1970s, Basquiat formed a band called Gray, with Vincent Gallo. Basquiat worked with Gallo again in a film Downtown 81 which featured some of Gray's recordings. He also appeared Rapture’s music video, which was a single by Blondie, another American Rock band. Basquiat first started to gain recognition as an artist in June 1980. He participated in The Times Square Show with many other artist in a multi-artist exhibition. In 1981, Rene Ricard helped to begin Basquiat's international career with an article he published in “Artforum” magazine. During the next few years, he continued exhibiting his works around New York as well as in different countries around the world. By 1982, Basquiat was becoming a part of what would soon be called the Neo-expressionist movement. He started dating an aspiring...
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