"The Death of Michael Stewart / Defacement" by Jean-Michel Basquiat


The Death of Michael Stewart / Defacement (1983) — Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988)


Basquiat painted The Death of Michael Stewart, otherwise known as Defacement, on the wall of Keith Haring's studio in 1983. This painting was one of many responses in the New York City artist community when Michael Stewart, a black artist living and working in New York, was killed at age 25 by NYC Transit Police, who caught him graffitiing a subway station and brutally beat him to death.

Read more about this work and its recent exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York City.