Basquiat was an early practitioner of graffiti art in New York City. Despite a short life he has greatly influenced contemporary art and his artworks are housed in many major museums internationally and command fantastic sums at auction. Basquiat was born to a Puerto Rican mother and Haitian father who raised him to speak French, Spanish and English. Basquiat dropped out of high school just before his last year and began establishing himself in the East Village Art scene. His lack of a formal art education inspired many others to pursue their ideas through the medium of visual arts.
Basquiat painted what he saw on the streets of New York. Basquiat dated Madonna in 1982 and befriended Andy Warhol as well. His friendship with Warhol resulted in their collaboration on a number of paintings and projects. It is said that Warhol’s death led to Basquiat’s increased drug use.