Biography

Occupation: Graffiti artist
Movement: Neo-Expressionism, Primitivism
Education: Self-Taught
Jean-Michel Basquiat shot to fame because of his graffiti art in New York City. He also was a musician and producer, and became well-known for his Neo-Expressionist and Primitivist art work. 
FAMOUS ARTWORKS
“Bird on Money” 1981
“Fishing” 1981
“Scull” 1981
“Irony of the Negro Policeman” 1981
“Boxer” 1982
“Boy and dog in a Johnnypump” 1982
“Cabeza” 1982
“Profit I” 1982
“Self-Portrait” 1982
“Untitled (History of the Black People)” 1983
“Aboriginal” 1984
“Flexible” 1984
Early Life
Basquiat was born in the winter of 1960, in Brooklyn. His mother, Matilde, was from Puerto Rico, and his father Gerard, from Haiti. His early artistic bent was encouraged by his mother and teachers. He first visited art museums as a child with his mother. 
After being hit by a car in 1968, Basquiat spent a month recuperating in hospital. At this time, Matilde presented him with a copy of the book “Gray’s Anatomy” to keep him occupied. Medical figures from the book had a lasting impact on his art. In the same year, when his parents separated, he and his sisters went to live with their father. His mother suffered from mental illness, and spent a lot of her time in and out of mental institutions. He picked up languages quickly, being able to speak French, Spanish and English fluently by the age of 11. 
Same Old Shit
When he was seventeen, in 1977, Basquiat left school midway, ran away from home. He and his friend Al Diaz explored Lower Manhattan, spray-painting graffiti on derelict, rundown tenement buildings. They signed their work enigmatically, with the initials “SAMO,” which stood for “Same Old Shit.” Graffiti works and concise, and strange messages stating — “SAMO is an escape clause,” or “Plush safe he think; SAMO”  — were featured in an article that appeared in the “Village Voice” in late 1978. The last message-work appeared on several SoHo buildings, simply stating, “SAMO IS DEAD.” 
Experiments in Art
Within a year, Basquiat was famous in the East Village art circles, largely strengthened by his many guest slots on a cable show TV. 
Basquiat started the music band, “Gray,” with Vincent Gallo, who was not known at all at the time. Performing at many clubs, like the CBGB, Max’s Kansas City and the Mudd Club, brought him further exposure. He and Gallo made “Downtown 81” (a.k.a. New York Beat Movie), and “Gray” contributed several rare tracks to it. He also appeared briefly in Blondie’s music video for the song “Rapture.”
Basquiat came into prominence when in June, 1980; the group exhibition by Times Square Show, supported by Collaborative Projects Incorporated (Colab) showed his work. His paintings at this time depicted skeletal, wraith-like figures deeply interested in mortality, and writhing masses of words, writing and dense collages on multi-panel works. There was no doubt about his affinity — it was with contemporary black culture and identity. 
Recognition
As time went by, Basquiat participated in group-shows with artists like Keith Haring and Barbara Kruger. He also worked with patrons like Larry Gagosian and Mary Boone. A December 1981 article by poet and artist Rene Ricard entitled “The Radiant Child,” published in “Art Forum” was the first major feature on him. He and Andy Warhol became friends in 1982, and worked together on several occasions. While these collaborations received little critical acclaim, he and Warhol continued to collaborate till the latter’s death in 1987.  His first solo exhibition was in 1982, at the Annina Nosei Gallery, USA. 
Basquiat went to Africa in 1986 to exhibit his work in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In November, 1986, his show was at the Kestner-Gesellschaft Gallery in Hanover — he was one of the youngest artists ever shown here. In spite of professional success, he struggled in his personal life. 
By 1984, Basquiat’s heroin addiction was leading to erratic mood swings. He was also devastated by the unexpected death of Andy Warhol and while in mourning, he spent a lot of time alone in his studio — the intricately detailed work “Pegasus” was made in this time. 
Death and Legacy
In 1988, Basquiat received critical praise when his work was shown in Paris and New York. However, he was caught in the downward addiction-spiral that caused his death. He was only 27-years-old when he died in 1988. 
His works are held by private collectors, including Lars Ulrich, Steven Cohen, John McEnroe, Madonna, and Leonard DiCaprio. His work commands high prices — in 2012, the painting “Untitled” (1981) sold for $16.3 million. 
TIMELINE
1960  -  Born in Brooklyn, New York
1966  -  Becomes a Junior Member of the Brooklyn Museum
1977  -  Begins spray painting on subway trains
1978  -  Drops out of school and leaves home
1983  -  Mentored by Andy Warhol
1988  -  Dies in New York
MAJOR EXHIBITIONS
1981  -  Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
1981  -  Emilio Mazzoli Gallery, Modena
1981  -  Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island
1982  -  Emilio Mazzoli Gallery, Modena
1982  -  Mario Diacono Gallery, Rome
1982  -  Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
1982  -  Blum/Helman Gallery, New York
1982  -  Marlborough Gallery, New York
1982  -  Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
1982  -  Fun Gallery, New York
1982  -  Galerie Delta, Rotterdam
1982  -  Janus Gallery, Los Angeles
1982  -  Larry Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles
1982  -  Documenta 7, Kassel
1982  -  Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
1983  -  Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover
1983  -  Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
1983  -  Mary Boone Gallery, New York
1983  -  Whitney Biennale, Whitney Museum of Art, New York
1983  -  Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York
1983  -  Ulrike Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles
1983  -  Fashion Moda, Bronx
1983  -  Delahunty Gallery, Dallas
1983  -  Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
1983  -  Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo
1986  -  Larry Gagosian, Los Angeles
1986  -  Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta
1986  -  Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
1986  -  Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
1986  -  Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya
1986  -  Centre Culturel Francais d’Abidjan, Abidjan
1986  -  Galerie Delta, Rotterdam
1986  -  Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover
1986  -  Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne
1987  -  Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris
1987  -  Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo
1987  -  Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York
1987  -  Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
1987  -  P.S.Gallery, Tokyo
1988  -  Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin
1988  -  Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York
1988  -  Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
1988  -  Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta
1988  -  Gallery Schlesinger Limited, New York
1988  -  Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
1988  -  Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
1988  -  Galerie Beaubourg, Paris
1992  -  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1992  -  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1992  -  Menil Collection, Houston
1992  -  Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York
1992  -  Galerie Eric van de Wegh, Brussels
1992  -  Musee Cantini, Marseille
1996  -  Robert Miller Gallery, New York
1996  -  Serpentine Gallery, London
1996  -  Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris
1996  -  Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo
1996  -  Museum of Contemporary Art, Miam
1996  -  Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles
1996  -  Castellani Art Museum, Lewiston
1996  -  Krannert Art Museum, Champaign
1996  -  Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York
1996  -  Quintana Gallery, Coral Gables
2005  -  Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
2005  -  Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2005  -  The Museum of Fine Art, Houston
2005  -  Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn
2005  -  Cheim & Read, New York
2006  -  Van de Weghe Fine Art, New York
2006  -  Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai
2006  -  Museo d´Arte Moderna, Lugano
2006  -  Deitch Projects, New York
2006  -  Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce
2011  -  Taglialatella Galleries, New York
2011  -  The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
2011  -  Agnellini Arte Moderna, Brescia
2011  -  Van de Weghe Fine Art, New York
2011  -  North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh
2011  -  Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen
2011  -  Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld
2011  -  Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris
2012  -  Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virgina
2012  -  Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
2012  -  Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2012  -  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2012  -  Fowler Museum, Los Angeles
2012  -  Woodward Gallery, New York
2012  -  Collection Lambert, Avignon
2012  -  Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
2012  -  Gagosian Gallery, London
2012  -  Van de Weghe Fine Art, New York
2012  -  Gagosian Gallery, Paris
2012  -  Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires
2013  -  Woodward Gallery, New York 
2013  -  Gagosian Gallery, New York
2013  -  Musées d´Art Contemporain, Marseille
2013  -  San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
2013  -  La Maison Rouge, Paris
MUSEUMS / COLLECTIONS
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta
The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton
Castellani Art Museum, Lewiston
Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse
Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao
Berardo Museum, Lisbon
Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Sammlung Hoffmann, Berlin
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg
Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona
Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka
Rubell Family Collection, Miami
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth
Brooklyn Museum, New York
BOOKS / PUBLICATIONS
Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Jean-Louis Prat
Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Jeffrey Deitch and Glenn O'Brien
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Mugrabi Collection” by Jacob Baal-Teshuva
Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Ruby Chiappini
Jean-Michel Basquiat: 1981 - The Studio of the Street” by Jeffrey Deitch and Diego Cortez
Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Robert Farris Thompson and Renee Ricard
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Notebooks” by Larry Warsh
Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Gianni Mercurio and Mirella Panepinto
The Jean-Michel Basquiat Show” by Glenn O'Brien and Annette Lager
Jean-Michel Basquiat: King for a Decade” by Taka Kawachi

 

ART PRICES

LOT SOLD (1990 - 2009)

2037

MAX PRICE

$13,522,500

AVG PRICE

$2,401,227

TOTAL SALES (1990 - 2009)

$180,092,096

 Back of the neck by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Back of the neck

Artcurial, Paris

December 6, 2016

$369,860  USD

 Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Untitled

Stockholms Auktionsverk, Stockholm

December 6, 2016

$294,840  USD

 Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Untitled

Sotheby's, New York

November 18, 2016

$348,500  USD

NEWS

Auction Preview: Artcurial’s Post-War & Contemporary Art, Paris, Dec 6

By Paul Durand | December 5, 2016

7 Must-See Satellite Fairs in Miami

By Rachel Corbett | November 29, 2016

Sotheby's Solid Gold Contemporary Art Evening Auction

By Judd Tully | November 18, 2016

‘Man With A Woman’s Head’ by Katrin Plavcak at Galerie Mezzanin, Geneva

By Hans Schneider | November 17, 2016

Christie's Strong Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale

By Meghana Reddy | November 17, 2016

Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Sale Reaffirms Market Confidence

By Judd Tully | November 16, 2016

SLIDESHOWS

BASQUIAT: Boom For Real at Barbican Art Gallery

By Nicholas Forrest | October 5, 2016

Auction Preview:Sotheby’s Evening Art Auction

By BLOUIN ARTINFO | October 3, 2016

Preview St. Moritz Art Masters 2016

By Lisa Contag | August 14, 2016

Alice + Olivia's Basquiat-filled Resort 2017 Colle

By Michelle Tay | June 16, 2016

Jean-Michel Basquiat at Nahmad Contemporary

By Judd Tully | May 2, 2016

Sotheby's Contemporary Evening Auction London

By Judd Tully | February 10, 2016