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Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Untitled, 1981. Acrylic, oilstick and spray paint on canvas, 78 x 72in. (199.5 x 182.9cm.). Estimate in the region of $20 million. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Untitled, 1981. Acrylic, oilstick and spray paint on canvas, 78 x 72in. (199.5 x 182.9cm.). Estimate in the region of $20 million. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

In his short life, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a pop icon, cultural figure, graffiti artist, musician, and neo-expressionist painter. He was a precocious child, and by the age of four he could both read and write. By the time he was eleven, he was fluent in English, French, and Spanish. And by the time was fifteen, he ran away from home, living for less than a week in Washington Square Park, after which he was arrested and sent back home to live with his father. He dropped out of school in…

In his short life, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a pop icon, cultural figure, graffiti artist, musician, and neo-expressionist painter. He was a precocious child, and by the age of four he could both read and write. By the time he was eleven, he was fluent in English, French, and Spanish. And by the time was fifteen, he ran away from home, living for less than a week in Washington Square Park, after which he was arrested and sent back home to live with his father. He dropped out of school in…

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