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Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) was born and raised in Brooklyn. He first gained notoriety as a teenage graffiti poet and musician but rapidly became one of the most accomplished artists of his generation. Critics noted the originality of his work, its emotional depth, unique iconography, and formal strengths in color, composition, and drawing. Basquiat was also the youngest artist to be shown at the Whitney Biennial in New York when he was only twenty-two. By 1985, he was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine as the epitome of the hot, young artist in a booming market.


Tragically, Basquiat began using heroin and died of a drug overdose when he was just twenty-seven years old. Basquiat has been honored with several retrospectives celebrating his work including one at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1992 and another at the Brooklyn Museum in 2005. His work has been featured in countless museums including the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum, and many more.

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