Jean-Michel Basquiat became a very successful artist in a very short space of time. Just as well because he died tragically young at 27 of a heroin overdose.
Basquiat lived with friends in Brooklyn. New York city became his canvas and before long “SAMO” graffiti was seen throughout the city. “SAMO” standing for ‘same old shit’ was the result of a collaboration between Basquiat and Al Diaz in 1977. Two years later Basquiat had declared this graffiti based endeavour over when “SAMO IS DEAD” was sprayed over walls in SoHo.
From June and July 1980 Basquiat took part in the large group exhibition “Times Square Show” within a vacant building over 4 floors at 41st Street and Seventh Avenue. Organised by Fashion Moda and Collaborative Projects Incorporated, Basquiat was allotted one wall, but nevertheless made a considerable impression within the art world.
It was a chance encounter with Andy Warhol which resulted in their collaboration on canvas. Basquiat approached Warhol in a restaurant, handing him postcards decorated with his artwork. Warhol saw his raw neo-expressionist style and didn’t pass up the opportunity to work with the young artist.
From graffiti artist to bona fide seller of large canvases for even larger money, and a musician to boot, Basquiat acheived so much during his short life. To me his work still looks fresh and is inspiring while the work of many of his fellow artists appears tired.
“Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” “SAMO”
We Admire Jean-Michel Basquiat. If you do, wear our Basquiat t-shirt too. We admire Basquiat, we have two t-shirt designs.