logo
Getty Images
Getty Images

Remembering Iconic Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat – His Life, Work, and Connections with Andy Warhol and Madonna

Pedro Marrero
Jul 10, 2020
05:15 P.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

His rose to fame is the classic success story that every aspiring artist dreams about, and in less than a decade he managed to make a lasting mark in contemporary art history.

Advertisement

Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat first earned the attention of the art world in the early eighties thanks to his urban interventions under the tag name of SAMO, focusing on painting and drawing from 1981 on.

The artist was only 20 years old that year, when the defining period of his career started. It was during this fruitful period of his short-lived but influential career as a painter that Basquiat produced some of his most famous works.

Jean - Michel Basquiat at the surprise birthday party for Susanne Bartsch at the Rainbow Roof, at Steven Greenberg's office, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Thursday, September 19, 1985. I Image: Getty Images.

Jean - Michel Basquiat at the surprise birthday party for Susanne Bartsch at the Rainbow Roof, at Steven Greenberg's office, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Thursday, September 19, 1985. I Image: Getty Images.

Advertisement

Basquiat’s neo-expressionistic style was key in bringing fresh air to the New York City art scene in the early ‘80s, but he didn’t even live to see the end of the decade, passing away in 1988 at the young age of 27.

In a matter of seven years, Basquiat went from being an underground graffiti artist to make thousands of dollars with his work as a fine artist embraced by the New York City elite and whose influence can still be felt in figurative painting.

Advertisement

BEFRIENDING ANDY WARHOL

Basquiat reportedly met celebrated pop artist Andy Warhol during his street art years, when he ran into the already famous artist and sold him a couple of postcards.

However, their friendship started after the two were formally introduced in 1982, when Basquiat was already making himself a name in the art business.

Advertisement

Basquiat was so pleased to have properly met Warhol that as soon as he left him he rushed to the studio to make a painting of the two of them together, delivering it while still wet to Warhol as a friendly gift.

Their friendship led to an artistic collaboration between the two, and in 1985 they organized a joint show, which unfortunately wasn’t a favorite for the critics. Two years later, Warhol passed away at age 58, with Basquiat following the next year.

Advertisement

RENEWED INTEREST

Unlike other artists that die young and at the peak of their careers, Basquiat paintings weren’t especially valued by museums and galleries, and during the early 90s, there was some skepticism about the worth of his work.

But soon the art world caught up with the cultural appreciation the big public had for the work of Basquiat, and his work gained new attention as it became part of the collections of celebrities interested in fine arts.

Advertisement

Blondie’s leading singer Debbie Harry was the first person to ever buy one of Basquiat’s paintings, and stars like Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jay-Z are among those that own some of his artwork.

Singer Madonna, who rose to fame about the same time than Basquiat, also in the New York City scene, was a close friend of the artist back in the day. Not only she owns his art as well, but she also dated him for a couple of months once.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Chris Meloni's Mom Knew Sherman Williams Was "The One" First — He Avoided Marrying Her for Years

April 05, 2022

Poor Old Man Spends His Last $60 on a Rusty Old Box at Auction and It Makes Him a Millionaire — Story of the Day

April 19, 2022

Jack Lord Saw His Only Child Just Once & Never Met Him Again — He Passed Away without an Heir

May 10, 2022

Robert Redford Wed 1st Wife to 'Save His Life' after His Mom's Death — They Had 4 Children & Lost 2

March 10, 2022

Chris Meloni Let Wife ‘Slide’ When 3 Women ‘Dropped’ into His Lap - Now He Is Her ‘Biggest Fan’

February 08, 2022

Years after Artist’s Death, His Son Becomes Homeless and Finds His Painting in a Dumpster – Story of the Day

April 13, 2022

Bruno Mars Had to Live In a Zoo After Parents’ Divorce – He Slept in 1 Bed With His Dad & Brother

April 05, 2022

Robert Redford Lives 'Whole New Life' after Marrying 21-Years-Younger Wife — It Took Them 13 Years to Wed

March 21, 2022

Robin Williams Wanted His Children to Be Proud of Him — Meet His 3 Kids Who He Cherished

March 09, 2022

Billy Joel Is Happily Married to 4th Wife Who Is 33 Years His Junior & the Mom of His Youngest Kids

March 08, 2022

Son Sees News Report about Homeless Man, Realizes It's the Dad He Hasn't Seen for 30 Years

April 15, 2022

Anson Williams Filed for Divorce from Wife of 30 Years & Mom of His 4 Kids Twice⁠ — Inside His Relationships

March 21, 2022

Alicia Keys Grew up without a Dad after He Abandoned Her — Meet the Singer's Mother Who Raised Her Alone

May 13, 2022

Jackie Chan ‘Never Existed’ in His Daughter’s Life & Did Not Support Her When She ‘Slept Under a Bridge'

February 18, 2022