Jean-Michel Basquiat Biography & Video: Interview, Paintings, Warhol & Clients

American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) gained popularity first as a graffiti artist in New York City. Later, he was recognised as a successful 1980s-era Neo-expressionist artist.

Jean-Michel Basquiat grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he initially created graffiti on subways, signing them with SAMO© (standing for “SAMe Old shit”).

In 1980 Basquait participated in his first exhibition, the Times Square Show. His fame and friendship with Andy Warhol, began a year later. The artists admired each other, and collaborated in nearly one hundred works.

Basquiat’s paintings still influence modern day artists and command high prices.

This video is from the final episode of State of the Art – documentaries about the visual arts in the 1980s. The video frames the works and concerns of these artists is the intellectual context of the time, and especially the contemporary concerns of post-modernism.

Basquiat Fine Prints For Sale

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled, 1981
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Mona Lisa
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled, 1981
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Baqsuiat
Florence, 1983
Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Recent Auction Result

Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale, November 11, 2008
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ‘Ribs ribs’, 1982 (oil paintstick on paper; 254.2 x 218.4 cm; signed
sold for 626,500 US$


  1. Robert Wilson says

    Basquiat epitomizes the naked emporer story, the greater fool theory, and lemmings running after one another into the sea. To praise his “work” is to line up with the not to be left behind crowd whose definition of quality is that the other guys think it is good, so it must be. Let me say unequivocably that Basquiat cannot draw, cannot paint, has no imagination, and from personal conversation, is not very bright. My children have more of a sense of color, balance, and relevancy, and they are not yet ten years old. What pure unadulterated B.S. Shame on the sham that has taken this quack anywhere but back to the third grade.

  2. Robert, I would LOVE to see the works by your <10 yr old children, and yes, I agree with you that some children (particularly today's children) are more talented that some hailed artists of the past. Having said this, I personally do like Basquiat's work, as I do my own and my daughter's natural, 'raw instinct-kind of artwork.

    Perhaps his artwork has this quality because he is not 'very bright'. People who are very involved with their intellectual side tend to make a different kind of art, you know, the style of Escher (whom I also like, btw). That is a calculated, considered sense of creativity, which I also like, but... perhaps not as much ...


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