This Day in Black History: Dec. 22, 1960

ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - 1983: Artist Jean-Michel paints in 1983 in St. Moritz, Switzerland. (Photo by Lee Jaffe/Getty Images)

This Day in Black History: Dec. 22, 1960

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on Dec. 22, 1960.

Published December 22, 2013

When it comes to prominent Black modernist artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat is perhaps the most revered.   

A former graffiti artist, Basquiat was born on Dec. 22, 1960. Self-taught, his iconoclastic style captured the imagination of the art world.

At the height of his success, Basquiat’s personal life, however, was marred by drug abuse. His career was cut short when he died of a heroin overdose in 1988. But after his death, his work gained even more attention. 

In 1992, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted a retrospective of Basquiat. And earlier this year in 2013, at an auction in New York, Basquiat’s painting Dustheads sold for a record $48.8 million.

In November, Jay Z purchased one of Basquiat's paintings for a cool $4.5 million. 

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(Photo: Lee Jaffe/Getty Images)  

Written by Nikola Lashley


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