Jean-Michel Basquiat

Contemporary Artist

In the late 70s, I was living in Alphabet City (The Lower East Side in Manhattan). There were many burned out buildings covered in graffiti during that time and I started to notice art that went beyond the usual scribble of a name etc. Two artists teamed up and were creating work under the name “SAMO”. One of the members was Basquiat. His work was raw, political and thought provoking. Another artist using the sides of buildings and subways to post his work around the same time was Keith Haring. Their work ignited an interest in “Street Art” and quickly became sought after, appearing in top galleries and museums and propelling both artists to fame and fortune rather quickly. Tragically, both died young, Basquiat from a heroin overdose and Haring from Aids.