Born in New York in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat shot to fame in the art world during the 1980s. Initially a graffiti artist, Basquiat’s energetic art drew inspiration from his mixed Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage and black cultural heroes, creating in his paintings a distinctive and subversive visual language. Mentored by Andy Warhol, Basquiat’s work flourished in the 1980s, before his untimely death in 1988. Here we explore the best places to see his art exhibited.
Among the 2000 works of art in The Broad‘s collections are 13 exemplary paintings by Basquiat. Many of the pieces illustrate Basquiat’s characteristically frenzied brushwork, and display some familiar motifs of his work, such as crowns, skulls, and scribbled writing. The collection provides fine examples of Basquiat’s varied techniques and sources of inspiration. Untitled (1981) is a particular highlight: considered autobiographical, the self-portrait is intricately detailed and was completed over the course of a year: unusual in itself given that most of his pieces were completed in only a matter of days.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) houses three magnificent late works by Basquiat: Sterno (1985), Self Portrait (1986), and King Zulu (1986). The latter is a particularly striking piece; an homage to Louis Armstrong, it invokes the music and traditions of New Orleans by depicting Armstrong, a jazz ensemble, and their instruments floating in an unfinished sea of blue. Portraying “King Zulu” in blackface, here Basquiat provocatively calls into question the relationship between racism and tradition, a common theme found in his work.
The Daros Collection, Zürich, Switzerland
The Daros Collection in Zürich – showcases their collection through the Fondation Beyeler – have a number of compelling pieces by Basquiat. These include two paintings – King Alfonso (1982), and Formless (1984) – as well as 32 Basquiat drawings held in the Daros Suite. The drawings feature a detailed exploration of his iconic lexicon of images as well as his poetic and political scribbles.
The Barry Lowen Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California, holds half a dozen fantastic Basquiat works in its collection. The paintings again date from the early 1980s. Perhaps the most notable amongst them is Six Crimee (1982) – a large, acrylic and oil paintstick on masonite piece. Divided into three panels, it depicts six haloed black male heads and groupings of lines and symbols against a background of frantic green brushstrokes; the resultant sense of movement is evocative of his early street art.
Soho Contemporary Art, New York
The Soho Contemporary Art gallery covers 2900 square feet in Manhattan’s Lower Eastside, and features eight works by Basquiat. Dating from between 1982 to 1984, most of the pieces contain images of the skulls, heads, or crowns commonplace in Basquiat’s oeuvre, and interrogate the racial and economic inequalities he perceived in American society and history. Works by Basquiat’s mentor and friend, Andy Warhol, also feature prominently in the Soho collection.
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Basquiat met Andy Warhol in 1980, who was immediately impressed by his artistic genius. The two became friends and embarked upon a series of collaborative works between 1983-1985. Many of these works are now exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The sculpture piece Ten Punching Bags (Last Supper) is amongst the most famous of their collaborations featured there.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.