Jean-Michel Basquiat rose to prominence in New York during the 1980s. He is widely credited with elevating graffiti artists into the realm of the New York gallery scene. His pioneering artworks broke down the barriers that had previously existed between street art and the established art world.
Although never having completed high school, Basquiat developed an appreciation for art as a youth, from his many visits to the Brooklyn Museum of Art with his mother. Basquiat first achieved recognition as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who sprayed enigmatic phrases in the cultural Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s where the hip-hop, punk, and street cultures were taking shape.
Attaquer’s collection featuring Basquiat’s works followed on from their incredibly popular collaboration with another icon of the 1980s New York art scene, Keith Haring, in 2016. Celebrated for their own unconventional approach to cycling apparel design, Attaquer is ideally suited to provide a fresh canvas for Basquiat’s work that echoes his own disruptive style.
“After the success of our collaboration with Keith Haring in 2016 we wanted to extend our artists collection to work with the more underground and enigmatic Basquiat. His raw and uncompromising works relate strongly to the Attaquer aesthetic and we knew these pieces would translate well to cycling kit,” said Greg Hamer, co-founder of Attaquer, alongside Stevan Musulin.
“Basquiat’s impact on the street scene of New York, and internationally was just phenomenal, and his legacy continues to inspire many, including us at Attaquer. Whilst not as widely known as some other artists, Basquiat has a devoted fan base who are extremely passionate and enamoured by his work”, said Musulin.
Basquiat’s legacy extends very much to the art of today. Having been one of the first to bridge the divide between the streets and high art, the powerful social commentary of his work lives on through rap and hip-hop culture, mediums Basquiat himself experimented with. Indeed his impact is manifest in the art of others, with Kanye West and Jay-Z amongst artists to have directly quoted Basquiat’s name in their lyrics.