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May 31, 2010

Artist Profile: Jean Michel Basquiat

Jean Michel Basquiat Is one of the most acclaimed artists to come out of the 1980’s art boom by introducing street art and graffiti to the elitist New York art scene. A rebel, high-school drop-out, and part of the downtown New York street culture, he was influenced by the violence of city life, and his diverse Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage. Basquiat first became recognized as a graffiti artist in lower Manhattan at the age of 17 under the alias SAMO©, making images and writing slogans on the walls of buildings, t-shirts, found objects and paintings. In the early 1980’s he was “discovered” by the art establishment.

His vigorously spontaneous works in paint, collage and crayon on unprimed canvas, featuring crude, angry and powerful figures sometimes incorporating graffiti-like text, were much sought after by collectors. He was friends with such rising stars as Madonna and established artists Keith Harring and Andy Warhol. Basquiat’s meteoric rise to fame was cut short when he died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988.

His influence and fame was not halted by his death, by the early years of the 21st century he was hailed as one of the finest American neo-expressionists of his era and his influence on modern artists is undeniable. We are proud to share many of Basquiat’s original pieces at numerous Cactus Club Café locations including 3 [ Cabeza, Untitled: (Ernok), and Jawbone of an Ass ] at Cactus Club Bentall, Untitled: (Ernok) at Cactus Club Byrne Rd and Untitled:(Head) at Cactus Club Douglas in Victoria.

Must See: Basquiat(movie 1996) directed by: Julian Schnabel

Must Read: Basquiat by Marc Mayer

Here is a trailer to a documentary about Basquiat: