During his short lifetime, Jean-Michel Basquiat made a big impression on the art world. As the teenage son of a Haitian father and Puerto Rican-American mother, he began spray-painting graffiti on walls in Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s, and within a few years he emerged as a leading exponent of the Neo-Expressionism Movement that flourished in the 1980s.
When Basquiat was 19 he met the Pop artist Andy Warhol, and the two men formed a close connection. In Victor Bockris’s Warhol: A Biography, long-time Warhol assistant Ronny Cutrone describes the relationship:
It was like some crazy art-world marriage and they were the odd couple. The relationship was symbiotic. Jean-Michel thought he needed Andy’s fame, and Andy thought he needed Jean-Michel’s new blood. Jean-Michel gave Andy a rebellious image again.
In this scene from the British documentary series, State of the Art, we catch a glimpse of the two together in 1986, just a year before Warhol’s untimely death due to complications from surgery, and two year’s before Basquiet died of an overdose of heroin. He was only 27 years old.
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