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Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat Gray vinyl record signed (Basquiat Record Art)

2010

$575

About

Rare "Gray, Shades of..." Vinyl Record Album featuring offset cover art from Jean Michel Basquiat, "who immortalized the work by integrating his fingerprint into the original piece (Gray Co-founder Michael Holman)." This jewel of a record also includes previously lost original sound recordings featuring Basquiat’s music and voice. Rare 1st pressing published in 2010 from a sold out edition of 1000. This piece is hand-signed by fellow Gray members & Basquiat collaborators Nick Taylor and Michael Holman. 12x12 inches New and sealed in its original packaging. Excellent condition. Hand signed and numbered from an edition of 1000. Looks fantastic framed. Glenn O'Brien, "Gray Matters," GQ Magazine April, 2011 "Gray’s approach to music was having heard music, to approach instruments and sound systems the way one would pick up a strange machine and try to intuit its operation and function. Since Basquiat didn’t know guitar technique, it seemed like a good idea to play one with a steel file. Michael Holman discovered that you could achieve a very nice effect by pulling masking tape off the skin of a snare drum... And then there was the clarinet that Basquiat liked to walk around with, that was as much a scepter and wand as wind instrument. This utterly charming 27-track album is chock full of the road not taken, which sounds so right just now. It is refreshingly stripped of flagrant virtuosity but it is conceived brilliantly, played perfectly, and arranged impeccably... If a wine can have notes of chocolate, leather, licorice, and tobacco, then this record can have notes of William DeVaughn, Willie Hutch, Marcel Duchamp, Larry Coryell, the Modernaires, Sergio Mendez, the Tube Bar Tape, Chet Baker, Melvin Van Peebles, Gilberto/Jobim, and Dragnet." Related Categories Beat Bop. The Offs. Nicholas Taylor. Samo. Boom For Real.

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About the Artist

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Emerging from the New York City street-art scene, Jean-Michel Basquiat would become one of the most significant artists of the 20th century as he mixed hand-scrawled text, vibrant color, gestural brushwork and themes of social commentary in a prolific output of Neo-Expressionist paintings. Although his pieces always retained the improvisational energy of graffiti, Basquiat used deceptively uncomplicated motifs such as crowns and professional boxers to honor the majesty and power of Black men and place himself in that lineage. Today, Basquiat’s art is among the most expensive in the world, with his paintings regularly fetching tens of millions of dollars at auction.

Born in Brooklyn to a Haitian-American father and Puerto Rican mother, Basquiat’s parents treated him to regular visits to New York City museums and nurtured his early talent for drawing cartoons. When he was hit by a car while playing in the street, Basquiat’s mother gave him a copy of the lushly illustrated medical reference book Gray’s Anatomy. Later, human bones and body parts such as skulls and rib cages would prove potent as subject matter for his provocative and spirited visual explorations of social issues as well as his own vulnerability and the struggles he faced as a Black artist.

As a teenager, Basquiat spray-painted city bridges with friend Al Diaz, and their “SAMO” tag caught the eyes of local artists. He left home before he was 20, selling hand-painted sweatshirts and postcards in Lower Manhattan. Because Basquiat was homeless — sleeping in parks and girlfriends’ apartments — he couldn’t afford proper canvases, and instead transformed found materials, such as old doors and windows, with paint and layered paper. The works vividly juxtaposed a street-art style with forms inspired by Abstract Expressionism.

Basquiat’s first public exhibition was “The Times Square Show” in 1980, a landmark event for artists experimenting with the boundaries between the galleries and the streets, with pieces by Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Kenny Scharf and Kiki Smith. His art soon garnered critical acclaim as well as the attention of collectors. Basquiat’s first solo show was at Soho’s Annina Nosei Gallery, in 1982, with another that year at Larry Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles. His star continued to rise with multiple exhibitions in Europe, a 1983 feature in the Whitney Biennial and inclusion in a 1984 exhibition of painting at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. But he found that racist stereotypes persisted in press coverage of him, even as his profile expanded, and friends contend that he was exploited by collectors and art dealers. He battled a heroin addiction for years, and at the age of 27, Basquiat died from an accidental drug overdose on August 12, 1988.

Although it mainly spanned from 1980 to 1988, Basquiat’s career in visual art involved hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints and other works. This included collaborations with Andy Warhol, with whom he created a series of paintings between 1983 and 1985. Basquiat’s art has been exhibited in almost every major art museum in the world, and in 2017 his 1982 Untitled painting was sold for $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction.

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