Basquiat played an important and symbolic role in the New York art scene during the 1980s, and he quickly became one of the most popular artists of our times. Nowadays, his artistic language continues to fascinate the public all over the world. Like Keith Haring, his work is attributed to pop art, neo expressionism and graffiti art.
Between 1981 and 1987 he made very ‘explosive’ works on canvas. His works are usually of large format made with acrylic with line drawings and texts with oil-paintstick on top. Much of his work was an indictment of racism. He also had a lot to do with this and his work was often referred to as ‘primal’. Basquiat used social commentary in his paintings as a tool for introspection and to identify with his experiences in the black community of his time, as well as attacks on power structures and racist systems. During these years, Basquiat’s tormented soul unfolded into a successful career. He also worked for a number of years with Andy Warhol, whom he saw as a great example at that time. Their collaboration was equal.