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Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
Jean-Michel Basquiat started as a street artist painting graffiti art (using the pseudonym Samo) and then he became a very popular and successful avant-garde artist. His style was avant garde - nervous, fierce and energetic. Basquiat used painterly gestures on canvas, most often depicting skeletal figures and mask-like faces that signal his obsession with mortality, and imagery derived from his street existence, such as automobiles, buildings, police, children's sidewalk games and graffiti. He played himself in New York Beat Movie, Downtown 81, and Eat to the Beat. Basquiat became addicted to heroin, and died of an overdose.


Cadmium, 1984
Oil, oil stick, and acrylic on canvas
66 x 60 inches (167.6 x 152.4 cm)

Purchase in honor of Lynne Browne, President of the Members Guild, 1992-93, with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton., Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, 1993.3
High Museum of Art
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