Originally from Puerto Rican and Haitian, born in 1960 in Brooklyn in the State of New York and died in New York in 1988 following an overdose at the age of twenty-seven years, Basquiat belongs to the generation of graffiti artists has suddenly emerged in New York in the late 70s. In 1977, he began signing his graffiti name SAMO (standing for "Same Old Shit") with a crown and the initials of the copyright. During his meteoric career, his painting moves from the street to the table.
His work combines sacred mythologies of voodoo and the Bible together comics, advertising and media, heroes of African American music and boxing, and affirmation of his blackness. It defines a cons-urban culture, underground, violent and anarchic, steeped in freedom and vitality. In 1982, Basquiat is invited to participate in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany. The following year he was the youngest and first black artist to exhibit at the Biennale of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
From 1984, he produced together with Andy Warhol paintings until his death in 1987.S 'is always defined as a painter influenced by the daily urban environment, the roots of his practice "Expressionist primitivism" are find the side of a painting of postwar European, that of Jean Dubuffet, refractory to the "suffocating culture" or that of Cobra and the side of the great American tradition of Robert Rauschenberg Cy Twombly. After his untimely death in 1988, he left a considerable body of work inhabited by death, racism and his own destiny. His life and explosive burning, mixing the star system and revolt, inspired the 1996 film "Basquiat" the painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. In 1984, the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris had already introduced Jean-Michel Basquiat in a group show dedicated to the movement Figuration Libre France / USA, with Robert Combas, Herve Di Rosa, Keith Haring.
The retrospective consists of one hundred major works (paintings, drawings, objects) from many museums and private collections of American and European, can reconstruct the chronological order of the artist and to measure its importance in art and in art history beyond the 80s.
Marco de Rivera