Neo-Expressionist and Primitivist painter who investigated social and political dichotomies in his work.
He was a precocious child who could read and write by the time he was four years old and was fluent in three languages by the time he was eleven. He began work as a painter through graffiti.
He dropped out of high school and became a graffiti artist. Later, he began to paint, and his work was first exhibited at the Annina Nosei gallery in SoHo.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Haitian father and an American-born, Afro-Puerto Rican mother. He was raised mostly by his father. His mother suffered from mental illness and was institutionalized when Basquiat was eleven years old.
He fell into a depression following the 1987 death of his friend and artistic mentor Andy Warhol. Sadly, twenty-seven-year-old Basquiat died of a heroin overdose the following year.