Jean Michel Basquiat, radiant child that he was, always thought he might be famous. (Although he also reported "I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.") Lucky for us it was the former, and the young neo-Expressionist dazzled the world with his raw, neo-Expressionist chops and childish creativity. His works were part complexly coded masterpieces, part innocent doodles. They contained clues to Basquiat's heritage and language and yet they were pure instinct, pure creation, symbolizing nothing. Simple and complex, ugly and beautiful, they continue to make us gaga even today. Happy birthday Basquiat, you are a rare gem!
Get a taste of Basquiat's work below and leave a message to the birthday boy in the comments.