Supreme/Jean-Michel Basquiat (1)(1 of 25)
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Supreme/Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 - August 12th 1988) was an American painter, considered by many to be one of the most important artists of the 20th Century.

Born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican-American parents, Basquiat first made his name under the graffiti moniker SAMO© which was sprayed on walls throughout the Lower East Side and SoHo in the late 1970s. By 1980, he had appeared on Glenn O'Brien's cable access show TV party, and later starred in O’Brien's film Downtown 81. That same year he also participated in the acclaimed Times Square Show alongside the young Keith Haring, Lee Quinones, Jenny Holzer, and Kiki Smith, among others.

In 1981, Artforum published The Radiant Child about Basquiat, which brought him to the attention of the mainstream art world. In the subsequent years, Basquiat’s persona and notoriety grew to near-mythic proportions. At the same time, he was producing highly developed and groundbreaking work that often centered on dualities and dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience.

Basquiat’s work is simultaneously figurative and abstract, utilizing handwritten text and images to create powerful constructions of social commentary. His work often addresses issues of race and class, and offers an ongoing critique of colonialism, powers structures, and “bourgeois values.”

Supreme, along with the Basquiat Estate, is proud to release a collection of items highlighting Basquiat’s artwork and legacy.

Available in-store in NY, LA, and London, and online September 26th.

Available in Japan September 28th.