My project is about Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork and the collaboration between Andy Warhol and Basquiat in the mid-1980s. Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 22, 1960, to a Puerto Rican mother and a Haitian father who sparked his creativity at an early age. His mother introduced him to museums and his father often played music in his home. In 1976, Basquiat’s SAMO persona was born and he expressed his influential graffitied poetry and dark drawings on the streets of New York that left a mark on society by speaking out against racism. Once SAMO died, Basquiat had dropped out of school and ran away from “home” at the age of eighteen, searching for independence and kick-starting his career in art. He created the postcards with the assistance of Jennifer Stein in 1978 that were collaged to display political and everyday issues. As Basquiat’s career developed, he shifted towards sketches and painting on paper and canvas. His work resembled his previous graffiti style, continuing to represent his hardships and racial identity.
In 1982, Bruno Bichofberger, a Swiss art dealer, introduced Basquiat to Warhol and encouraged them to collaborate with Clemente. Warhol and Basquiat became more familiar with each other and one another's artistic abilities so they decided to part with Clemente to further develop their work. Basquiat and Warhol soon worked on artwork together and by the end had composed over 200 pieces of artwork. Warhol magnified Basquiat's fame as he overlooked Basquiat’s race, as he shared and admired his work throughout the art world. Warhol also connected him with his people which allowed him to be further known. Since Warhol was gay and Basquiat identified as black they both felt like outsiders in their own way which made their connection stronger. Warhol died in 1987 due to surgery complications and Basquiat died the following year because of an overdose, both leaving a permanent mark on society. Since 2020, Basquiat’s artwork has had a legacy with popular fashion brands since they have used his paintings for design purposes, such as Doc Martins, Converse, Coach, and Tiffany & Co.