“I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.” -Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a New York City artist born to a Haitian-Puerto Rican family in Brooklyn. At the age of fifteen Basquiat became homeless and lived on the streets. Soon enough, he became exposed to the underground scene in New York as a noise musician who listened to jazz, and a poet who wrote his words in Magic Marker on the walls of Manhattan, under the pseudonym of SAMO.
In his 20's, Basquiat began painting and drawing under his own identity, first on found objects, then on materials such as paper and canvas. He made bricolage with mediums in which he would find along the city streets and parks. His work was in great demand due to the boom of Neo-Expressionism in the early 1980's. Basquiat's fame rose to the point where he was featured on the cover of the New York Times magazine. He worked alongside Andy Warhol on a number of works, and consistently highlighted certain themes in his pieces such as race, sexuality, politics, and consumerism. Today Basquiat is one of the most sought-after artists in the art market.