The life and art of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Gracie Cox, The Rookie Staffer

Life was not going well for Jean-Michel Basquiat. At just 17 years old, his parents had gotten divorced, his mother was recently committed to a mental institution, and he was kicked out by his father for dropping out of high school. With nowhere else to go, Basquiat decided to stay at a close friend’s house and took up an art form that his parents certainly would’ve looked down upon. This mentioned art form was graffiti, and Basquiat loved every aspect of it. He loved the rush, the colors, and the haphazard style of it. In the late ’70s, nobody would’ve imagined that this couch-surfing vandal would ever do something with his life. And only a few years later, he proved them all wrong and sold paintings for $25,000 a pop.

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