Graffiti Art is a style of painting based on the type of spray-can vandalism familiar in cities all over the world and specifically in the New York subway system. The term can apply to any work in this vein, but refers particularly to a vogue in New York in the 1980s (several commercial galleries specialized in it at this time and a museum of American Graffiti opened there in 1989). The best-known figures of graffiti art are Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) and Keith Haring (1958–1990), both of whom enjoyed huge reputations during their brief careers, which were ended, for Basquiat by a drugs overdose and for Haring, by aids. Basquiat was a genuine street artist who ‘crossed over’ into the gallery world; Haring had an art school training but adopted a primitivistic style based on graffiti.
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