Octavia | Art Gallery
4532 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
American (1960 - 1988)
Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York to a Haitian-American father and a Puerto Rican mother. He began as a graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970’s and evolved into a Neo-expressionist painter during the 1980’s.
Basquiat’s diverse cultural heritage was one of his many sources of inspiration of his work. A self-taught artist, Basquiat first attracted attention as a graffiti artist under the name “SAMO”. He sold clothing and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets before his painting career took off. In 1980, Basquiat participated in his first group art show in New York City. He became an internationally known artist receiving critical acclaim for the fusion of words, letters, numbers, pictograms, logos, map symbols and diagrams in his work.
Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. Although his art career was brief, he has been credited with bringing the African-American and Latino experience to the elite art world.