I discovered Basquiat when I was in architecture school, and initially was enthralled simply because there aren't many black artists in the modern art world. His ability to blend graffiti, written word, and alternative mediums spoke to me in a way no other artist has. Basquiat taught me that anything and everything can be transformed into art, which pushed me beyond just painting on canvas, and allowed me to embrace modernity. He taught me that art can help people understand the pain of the human experience - a vehicle for thought, commentary, and change.