Jean-Michel Basquiat, ‘SAMO As A Neo Art Form’, 1982, Julien's Auctions

The Neo-Expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat started his career in the 70’s as a graffiti artist in New York City. Samo©, pronounced say-mo short for Same Old Shit, was born as a collective project between Jean-Michel Basquiat and fellow graffiti artist Al Diaz. The duo became infamous around lower Manhattan for the proliferation of the tag and its variants, combining sardonic phrases and ironic, poetic messages that graced the sidewalks of the concrete jungle.

About Jean-Michel Basquiat

A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. “I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” Basquiat drew his subjects from his own Caribbean heritage—his father was Haitian and his mother of Puerto Rican descent—and a convergence of African-American, African, and Aztec cultural histories with Classical themes and contemporary heroes like athletes and musicians. Often associated with Neo-expressionism, Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, showing alongside artists like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Francesco Clemente. In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own untimely passing a year later.

American, 1960-1988, New York, New York, based in New York, New York