The Most Iconic Pieces of Jean-Michel Basquiat Artwork


Did you know that the art and history surrounding Jean-Michel Basquiat were so influential that the great writer Ishmael Reed wrote a play about him?

If you’re an art lover, then you should familiarize yourself with this important figure in the history of art. There’s no denying that pieces of art by Jean-Michel Basquiat are some of the most unique of all time.

Are you wondering where to start? Keep reading to learn all about the most iconic pieces of Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork.

Who Was Jean-Michel Basquiat?

Before you can start to realize the importance of art by Jean-Michel Basquiat, it’s helpful to learn who he was as a person. Basquiat started to garner people’s attention when he was part of a graffiti team called SAMO in the 70s. As SAMO, he and his partner would draw deep messages around Manhattan.

That time period was important because rap, punk, and other styles of the time influenced his sensibilities. It didn’t take long for his full-fledged paintings to reach viewers at important galleries throughout the country and abroad as well. Since he was so young, many people considered Basquiat a prodigy.


Now that you know a bit about the backstory of Jean-Michel Basquiat, you can appreciate one of his most iconic pieces. Titled Warrior, it depicts a figure who is holding a sword. The colors are bright and almost bleed into each other.

There’s a crudeness to the execution that speaks to raw feelings. Basquiat admitted that the painting has autobiographical qualities.

As a Black artist, Basquiat had to be a warrior who fought against oppression and the silencing of his voice. It’s only through his persistence and perseverance that we are now discussing the importance of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Untitled (1982)

This untitled piece of Jean-Michel Basquiat art made history when it became the most expensive work of art ever purchased for a personal collection. You may be shocked to learn that the piece sold for $110.5 million at an auction.

It depicts a skull in the raw, graffiti style that Basquiat became famous for. Portions of the color open up to reveal other layers and defaced scrawls. There’s even what appears to be a game of tic-tac-toe right above the skull.

Not only does it act like a memento mori but it has a self-portrait element to it. Be sure to learn about his crown motif, too.

Are You Ready to Appreciate Jean-Michel Basquiat Artwork?

Now that you’ve learned all about the most iconic pieces of Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork, you can invest in high-quality reproductions to decorate your home or office. These will certainly be great conversation starters for friends, family members, coworkers, and others.

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