The exhibition ONE BASQUIAT at the Brooklyn Museum last year, was the latest link between the artist, JEAN MICHAEL BASQUIAT, and Brooklyn--- from his birth at Brooklyn Hospital to childhood visits to the Brooklyn Museum, where his mother enrolled him as a Junior Member when he was six years old.
Basquiat's mother was an American of Puerto Rican descent who early on encouraged Basquiat's interest in art, taking him to new York City's great art museums. Troubled by his early childhood, when his mother was hospitalized, he dropped out of high school and left home at age 17.
BECOMING BASQUIAT With no source of backing he lived on the streets, with friends, or in abandoned buildings and began a graffiti campaign with graffiti artists Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson. They created the persona Samo(c) on walls and around Soho and the East Village and on the D. train of the New York City subway system. He began to receive notice and emerged in the above ground New York art scene at age 20.