Jean‑Michel Basquiat was one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. He first achieved notoriety as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s where the hip-hop, post-punk and street art movements had coalesced. By the 1980s, Basquiat was exhibiting his neo-expressionist paintings in galleries and museums internationally. His art appropriated poetry, drawing and painting. Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960 and died of a heroin overdose at his art studio at age 27, on August 12, 1988.