Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960) wasn’t just an artist, he was an overnight sensation and a superstar. For a short period of time, he even collaborated with Andy Warhol. He began as an obscure graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s and evolved into an acclaimed Neo-Expressionist and Primitivist painter by the 1980s. He made a name for himself by breaking the colour barrier in the contemporary art world. Collectors were and are still lining up for his vibrant, expressive works. His works are colourful and playful, but at the same time they transmit a certain psychologically dark feeling. The Brooklyn-born Basquiat was 27 when he died of a drug overdose in 1988.
The exhibition of more than 30 works by Jean-Michel Basquiat at Sotheby’s Galleries in New York is going to open tomorrow. The exhibition runs May 2 through June 9, and ends with a private sale.
The exhibition includes works on paper in marker and crayon from 1979 and monumental canvases from 1987. Among the highlights is “Punch Bag” from 1983 depicting a black boxer. It’s been owned by a European collector since the late 1990s. Colorful canvas “Love Dub for A” from 1987 has been offered for sale only once before. The auction record for a Basquiat is “Untitled”, a painting of a black fisherman that sold for $26.4 million in November.