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Jean-Michel Basquat

Depicted by Lexus R.S. Fernandez

December 22, 1960 - August 22, 1988 (27 years old)

Parents: Father - Gerard Basquiat, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Mother - Matilde Andrades, born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican parents.

 

Siblings: Lisane, Max, Jeanine

Jean-Michel Basquiat showed an interest in the arts at an early life,

with his mother encouraging his interest by frequenting local

museums such as The Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern

Art and spending their time together drawing. Unfortunately, the artist’s

parents Gerard and Matilde divorced in 1968. Not long after, an

automobile accident left 9 year old Basquiat in the hospital for an entire

month. Jean-Michel immersed himself into Gray’s Anatomy, an

educational and historical textbook especially important for folks

practicing in the medical field. However, this text made a lasting

impression on young Basquiat, seen later in 1979 when he named his

band Gray.

Jean-Michel Basquiat is a notorious runaway- the first time being in

1975 after his father got a promotion at work and relocated them to

Puerto Rico and again after moving back to Brooklyn with his fathers

and siblings when he was 15 years old. In 1977 his art takes a serious turn

toward the Basquiat we’re familiar with when he creates an alter ego

SAMO© , a short-hand nickname for “same old s*** with friend Al Diaz.

The artists spent their free time using SAMO as an outlet to plaster the

city with their own aphorisms in graffiti.

Basquiat gained notoriety over the next few years after catching the

attention of a few prominent social figures. His electric personality and

his commitment to remaining authentically himself left a lasting

impression on the arts and everyone he crossed paths with. His legacy

lives on as the Original Father of Streetwear, boasting high profile

collaborations with Reebok, Uniqlo, Supreme and many more.