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Jean-Michel Basquiat (Brooklyn, New York, 1988) earned his initial fame as an informal graffiti artist part of the duo SAMO, filling the streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side with puzzling epigrams. His star rose quickly; by the 1980's, Basquiat's neo-expressionist paintings were part of showings in major international museums and galleries. Much of his art focuses on dichotomies such as integration versus segregation, wealth versus poverty, and outer versus inner experience. Basquiat's untitled 1982 painting of a skull sold for $110,500,000 in 2017, setting a record high for U.S. artists at auction.
“"Believe it or not, I can actually draw."”
Major exhibitions of Basquiat's work have included Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings 1981–1984, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (1984) and the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (1987, 1989).