About Jean Michel Basquiat In 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 7, he underwent a splenectomy as a result of a car accident. His mother gave him the book Gray's Anatomy while he was at the hospital, which remained influential in his depictions of internal human anatomy. He began his art career spray-painting graffiti in Lower Manhattan. He incorporated text into his painting and later became known for this political-poetical graffiti. In his early twenties, his work began to be shown along with established artists like Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. He then began exhibiting internationally and gained worldwide acknowledgement. He passed away at the age of 27 from a drug overdose as he was just gaining fame and recognition from the art world.