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About Jean-Michel Basquiat
Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist. He began as a graffiti artist in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City in the late 1970s. In the 1980s he exhibited internationally in galleries and museums his Neo-expressionist and Primitivist paintings. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988. In 1992 the Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of Basquiat's art. Basquiat's art focused on "suggestive dichotomies," such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. Basquiat appropriated poetry, drawing and painting, and married text and image, abstraction and figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique. Basquiat used social commentary in his paintings as a "springboard to deeper truths about the individual", as well as attacks on power structures and systems of racism, while his poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle.