top of page

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. He is best known for his paintings, which combine elements of graffiti, abstraction, and figuration. Basquiat first gained notoriety as part of the graffiti duo SAMO in the late 1970s in New York City's Lower East Side.


His work often incorporated words and phrases such as "SAMO IS DEAD" or "DEATH IS CERTAIN." After becoming a prominent figure on the downtown art scene, he attracted attention from major galleries and collectors worldwide. His works were exhibited at prestigious galleries such as The Whitney Museum in New York City and The Tate Gallery in London. In the 1980s, Basquiat produced a prolific amount of artwork that explored themes related to race, poverty, wealth inequality, politics and religion.


In 1983 he was included in a historic exhibition curated by Jeffrey Deitch titled “New York/New Wave” at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens which further propelled him to international fame. Basquiat died suddenly in 1988 due to an accidental heroin overdose at age 27 leaving behind an extensive body of work that continues to influence contemporary art today. 


Frame Color
    bottom of page