artist

Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the best known artists of his generation and is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His career in art spanned the late 1970s through the 1980s until his death in 1988, at the age of 27.

Basquiat works are edgy and raw, and through a bold sense of color and composition, he maintains a fine balance between seemingly contradictory forces such as control and spontaneity, menace and wit, urban imagery and primitivism.

Basquiat often incorporated words into his paintings. Before his career as a painter began, he produced punk-inspired postcards for sale on the street, and become known for the political–poetical graffiti under the name of SAMO.

The conjunction of various media is an integral element of Basquiat’s art. His paintings are typically covered with text and codes of all kinds: words, letters, numerals, pictograms, logos, map symbols, diagrams and more, and featured multi-panel paintings and individual canvases with exposed stretcher bars, the surface dense with writing, collage and imagery.

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Editorial (4)

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At Long Last: Basquiat
At Long Last: Basquiat

In this series, the curatorial team presents one work from the Meural art library we find essential.

What Basquiat's "Resume" Tells Us About His Life
What Basquiat's "Resume" Tells Us About His Life

The story of Jean-Michel Basquiat is a complex one to tell. Looking at his life is a lot like looking at one of his painting…

Basquiat's Bifurcated Life, Hockney at Auction & More
Basquiat's Bifurcated Life, Hockney at Auction & More

Each week, we scour the internet for the most significant, surprising, and outrageous art news—helping you stay informed (an…

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Jean-Michel Basquiat: Featured Works

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Works (10)

Date addedTime periodName