(1960-1988) Basquiat was born in New York City. By the age of 11 he was fluent in French, Spanish and English. He was a gifted child and his art talent was discovered early. However, his home life was not stable and after some rocky years and early homelessness he ran away from his family at the age of 15. At that time, he lived with friends and began creating graffiti art painting messages on buildings in Lower Manhattan. The Village Voice published an article on his work in 1978. Soon after, he ended his career as a graffiti artist and formed his own rock band. By the time he was 21 his neo-expressionist art work was selling in New York art galleries. It is rumored that he dated Madonna at one time.
After the death of Andy Warhol his depression deepened and his heroin addiction took over. He died at the age of 27 of a heroin overdose.