Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on 22 December 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Gérard, was born in Port au Prince, Haiti, and his mother Matilde was a New York-native of Puerto Rican descent. In this multicultural home, the artist grew up speaking Spanish, French and English.
2. Basquiat became a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum, his favorite museum, at the age of six. In the spring of 2018, the museum hosted One Basquiat an exhibition devoted solely to the artist's record-breaking Untitled (1982) which was purchased at Sotheby's by Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa for $110.5 million dollars — the most ever paid for an American artist at auction.
3. At eight-years-old, Basquiat was hit by a car while playing in the street and suffered a broken arm and severe internal injuries. While he was recuperating, his mother brought him a copy of the foundational medical textbook Gray’s Anatomy. The volume’s detailed anatomical drawings were eye opening to the young artist. Years later Basquiat named his industrial art noise band Gray (which counted actor Vicent Gallo as a member) in homage to this early influence.