Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist. Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970’s where the hip hop, post-punk, and street art movements had coalesced.
By the 1980’s, he was exhibiting his neo-expressionist paintings in galleries and museums internationally. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.
Basquiat’s art focused on “suggestive dichotomies”, such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation and inner versus outer experience. He appropriated poetry, drawing and painting and married text and image, abstraction, figuration and historical information mixed with contemporary critique.