Museum Brandhorst

Jean-Michel Basquiat

The painter, graphic artist and sculptor Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in New York in 1960, was just 27 years old when he met his drug-related death. Coming from a middle-class immigrant family, he was an autodidact who, from an early age, was interested in unconventional art forms such as graffiti and comics, as well as in African, European and Central American cultures, incorporating their pictorial languages in his own work. Meeting Andy Warhol in 1983 was to have a major impact on his art and development. This led to friendship, mutual admiration and collaboration on art projects. 
Due to Basquiat’s early death, his œuvre is relatively small. It is, therefore, all the more significant that the Brandhorst Collection includes two impressive paintings that provide an exemplary impression of Basquiat’s painterly style. In his triptych Untitled (1983), the artist boldly integrates the pictorial language of street graffiti with names and words from classical Antiquity in a three-part format typically found in Christian art.

Jean-Michel Basquiat | Two Heads II, 1983 Acrylic and oil paintstick on canvas
		213,4 x 213,4 cm Photo: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
		© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2009

Jean-Michel Basquiat | Two Heads II, 1983

Acrylic and oil paintstick on canvas
213,4 x 213,4 cm

Photo: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2009