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Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

I was so excited to get invited to the Opening Reception for Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat on Thursday, February 10th at The Orlando Museum of Art. The event was hosted by Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, drinks sponsored by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, DJ sets by Nigel John, and exhibition lead sponsored by Orlando Health- Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Visit Orlando Museum of Art from now until June 30th, 2023 to see 25 never-before seen pieces from legendary American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. There has been some controversy concerning the authenticity of the Orlando Basquiat exhibit... People are wondering if he died in 1988, why are these pieces just now being released to the public?

Basquiat rose to fame in the 1980's American art scene. Born and raised in New York, he found his passion for art and his Black-Latin history at a young age. He sold his art on the streets of NY before getting into his first art show in 1980. Moving into the 80's, Basquiat worked closely with famous artist Andy Warhol and went on to display his art in many countries around the world. Basquiat was truly an inspiration for American artists and the Black-Latin American community.

Unfortunately Basquiat battled with heroin addiction, that led to self - isolation and eventually an overdose which ended his life at the young age of 28. Basquiat definitely made a name for himself and helped progress American modern art during his life, but ultimately gained more fame after his death.

'In 2017 he resurfaced to fame when his art became the most expensive modern piece of art sold by an American artist- for $110.5 million dollars,'

According to The New York Times, 'Basquiat briefly lived in LA creating pieces for an art display in 1982. These pieces were put into a storage unit that was sold to Thad Mumford, and was re-discovered in 2012 with Basquiat's personal belongings, including this rare art collection never before seen by the public.'

The Heroes & Monsters collection closely aligns with Basquiat's Neo-Expressionism style- with bright vibrant colors painted on pieces of cardboard. Yes, that's right, actual cardboard! This canvas gives the colors an extra pop and helps accentuate the texture of each piece. I love his ability to create such extravagant, upscale art from a recycled base.

This was my first time visiting OMA, and I am so excited to return and see the rest of the museum as well. After further investigation of Basquiat's story, I am looking forward to returning to his exhibit to look again with new eyes. Have you checked out the Heroes & Monsters exhibit yet? What are your thoughts?

More photos from OMA:


A&E Networks Television. (2021, May 26). Jean-Michel Basquiat. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from

Sokol, B. (2022, February 16). In Orlando, 25 mysterious Basquiats come under the magnifying glass. The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from

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