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Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist, part of the Neo-Expressionist movement, a period in art when artists roughly portrayed recognizable objects using vivid colors. A self-taught painter, Basquiat started as a graffiti artist under the alias 'SAMO' with cohort Al Diaz. In 1981, the street artist successfully made his mark on the New York gallery scene. The guidance and friendship of Andy Warhol skyrocketed Jean-Michel Basquiat's painting career. And suddenly, Basquiat exhibits were opening around the world.
Although the legendary artist worked professionally for only 7 years until his death in 1988 at the age of 27, Basquiat's famous paintings can be seen in museum collections around the world. By taking inspiration from his own background and identity, Basquiat's art has a cultural significance that remains profound in our modern times. His work examines disparities in society and politics - using iconic symbols like skulls, masks, and his famous trademark - the Basquiat crown.