Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

1960–1988, USA

Name Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT
Birth 1960, 22/12, USA
Died 1988, 12/8, USA

Jean-Michel Basquiat, pseudonym "SAMO" biograhpy:

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. He first rose to prominence as a New York subway graffitist under the tag name SAMO. In 1978, he dropped out of high school shortly before graduation and began his artistic life as a member of the East Village underground. By 1980 he was included in the seminal Times Square Art Show, a multi-artist exhibition that marked the break-through moment for Basquiat and his contemporaries. Basquiat rapidly became famous for his depictions of skeletal figures, mask-like faces and wordlists. By 1982, Basquiat was seen as central to the Neo-Expressionist movement, one that included artists such as Julian Schnabel, David Salle and Francesco Clemente not to mention the many other notable graffiti artists who also emerged at that time, such as Keith Haring. As Basquiat's career evolved, he turned to the creation of multi-panel canvases, paintings with exposed stretcher supports, while continuing to explore issues of racial identity. By 1983, he had exhibited at the Annina Nosei and Gagosian Galleries, ultimately being represented by the dealers Mary Boone and Bruno Bischofberger. During his last years, Basquiat enjoyed a close friendship with Andy Warhol who attempted to act as mentor to the younger artist. As testimony to their friendship, they painted several collaborative works. It is likely that Warhol's death in 1987 served to intensify Basquiat's drug use. Jean-Michel Basquiat has been the subject of numerous important retrospectives, among them The Whitney Museum, New York, 1992; The Museo de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, 1998; The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2000, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, 2005 and the Musee D'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2010. His paintings are included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; The Beyeler Foundation, Basel, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.Basquiat died August 12, 1988 after an accidental drug overdose.


The SAMO Graffiti appeared in New York at the end of the Seventies and begining of the Eighties, in two phases. The second phase was solo work by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The first phase was an anonymous effort by the team of Basquiat, Al Diaz, and Shannon Dawson. Basquiat was the team's driving force. Flynt photographed the first phase, taking the photos in 1979 without knowing who the graffitists were. When Flynt first exhibited his portfolio, he got to know Diaz and Dawson, and was able to cross-check the authorship of every graffito.
Basquiat had had the idea for SAMO© when he and Diaz were students at City As School High School. Diaz was a graffiti veteran, having had a tag published in a book on graffiti (text by Norman Mailer) in 1974.
The collective graffiti employed anonymity to seem corporate and engulfing. The tone was utterly different from the morose and abject tone of Basquat's solo work. The implication was that SAMO© was a drug that could solve all problems. SOHO, the art world, and Yuppies were satirized with Olympian wit. Site-specific as the piece was, it is enhanced by the rich tropical colors that materialize in the photos.


Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist and is cited by Graham Thompson as the first painter of African descent to become an international art star. He started as a graffiti writer in New York City, and in the 1980s produced Neo-expressionist painting. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988... Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
-Basquiat was influenced at an early age thanks to his mother Matilde, encouraging him to draw and participate in art activties. In his teenage years, him and his friend Al Diaz began to spray paint grafiti throughout the slums of New York, usually painting the phrase SAMO. 1978, Basquiat dropped out of Highschool and left home. He moved into the city and lived with friends, surviving by selling T-shirts and postcards on the street. In 1979, Basquiat gained celebrity status amidst the thriving art scene of Manhattan's East Village, for his regular appearances on Glenn O'Brian's live public-access cable show, TV Party.
In June 1980, he first started to gain recognition when he participated in The Times Square Show, a multi-artist exhibition. In 1981, poet, art critic and cultural provocateur Rene Ricard published "The Radiant Child" in Artforum magazine, helping to launch Basquiat's career to an international stage. Hhe continued exhibiting his works around New York alongside artists such as Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger, as well as internationally, promoted by his gallerists Annina Nosei, Vrej Baghoomian, Larry Gagosian, Mary Boone and Bruno Bischofberger. By 1982, Basquiat was showing regularly alongside Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Francesco Clemente and Enzo Cucchi, thus becoming part of a loose-knit group that art-writers, curators, and collectors would soon be calling the Neo-expressionist movement. Source:


Untitled by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Untitled (Executed ca. 1981-1982)

Price SEK 2,700,000 (€275,535)
Estimated SEK 1,500,000–2,000,000
Jawbone Of An Ass by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Jawbone Of An Ass (1982/2005)

Price EUR 21,250 Incl. buyer's premium
Estimated EUR 10,000
Untitled by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Untitled (Executed in 1984)

Price GBP 1,762,500 (€2,079,873) Incl. buyer's premium
Estimated GBP 1,200,000–1,800,000
An Exhibition Poster And A Rare Alternative Design Exhibition Poster, Warhol/basquiat, Paintings, Shafrazi Gallery, New York, 14 September - 19 October, 1985 by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

An Exhibition Poster And A Rare Alternative Design Exhibition Poster, Warhol/basquiat, Paintings, Shafrazi Gallery, New York, 14 September - 19 October, 1985

Price GBP 3,250 (€3,835) Incl. buyer's premium
Estimated GBP 1,000–1,500
Poedi by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Poedi (Executed in 1981)

Price GBP 157,875 (€186,304) Incl. buyer's premium
Estimated GBP 130,000–180,000
Ohne Titel, 1986 by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Ohne Titel, 1986 (-86)

Price EUR 160,000
A 1984 Record Album With Cover Designed By Jean Michel Basquiat. The Offs First Record by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

A 1984 Record Album With Cover Designed By Jean Michel Basquiat. The Offs First Record

Price USD 402 (€292)
Estimated USD 1,500–2,000
Four Flyers Printed On One Sheet, For The Exhibition At Galleri Fem (5), Stockholm, March 2-11, 1983 by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Four Flyers Printed On One Sheet, For The Exhibition At Galleri Fem (5), Stockholm, March 2-11, 1983 (1983)

Price SEK 7,000 (€732)
Estimated SEK 10,000–12,000
Cantasso by Jean-Michel ‘Samo’ BASQUIAT

Cantasso (1982)

Price EUR 1,406,281
Estimated EUR 1,200,000–1,400,000
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