This painting was auctioned off to raise funds for VibeArts - a charity that provides children in under-serviced communities with a high quality arts education. This piece, entitled Samo, is a portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the American neo-expressionist artist who brought the energy of the streets to his art. In this painting, I thought a lot about how an artist makes the transition from being an unknown street artist to emerging artist to "rock star" artist status. While I usually like to show the eyes of my portraits, because I feel that the eyes convey so much about a person's personality and past experiences, I decided to place Basquiat in sunglasses. I did this because I think, in the end, he wanted to be shielded from the public and just enjoy the process of making art. Additionally, I used white accents on the sunglasses to show the presence of Warhol in room influencing Basquiat's thinking. The pink accents also reflect this. I also placed the word "Samo" on the lower right of the painting, because I am sure that, in some way, Basquiat probably wanted to go back to the pure enjoyment that he felt in the street when he started painting. Lastly, I struggled as to whether I should place the © symbol or @ symbol in the painting as the latter might be more in line with what Basquiat might think now, with the influence of Instagram in the art world. In the end I decided to leave it as © as a final salute to this thoughtful artist.