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Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

American, 1960-1988

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.

Find a collection of original Jean-Michel Basquiat art on 1stDibs.

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'Odours of Punt' Screenprint
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
Created in 1983/2024, 'Odours of Punt' by Jean-Michel Basquiat is a screenprint in the artist's signature style. This exquisite piece if from an edition of only 60 in existence This ...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Screen

1980s Basquiat exhibition announcement (Basquiat Dau al Set Barcelona)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat Barcelona 1989: Rare vintage 1989 Jean-Michel Basquiat announcement card published on the occasion of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Dau al Set Galeria d'Art, Barcelona,...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

Lt. Ed. Monograph of drawings, hand signed and numbered by Jean-Michel Basquiat
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
This is a lifetime edition - hand signed and numbered by Jean-Michel Basquiat himself in Basquiat's lifetime. Many younger collectors don't appreciate the difference between the numerous posthumous estate authorized prints...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Ink, Lithograph, Offset, Mixed Media

Jean-Michel Basquiat, (monograph, Hand signed and numbered by Basquiat)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985 Limited Edition Artist's Book with Offset Lithographs. Hand signed and numbered by Jean-Michel Basquiat Hand signed and numb...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

Jean-Michel Basquiat hand-painted sweatshirt 1979/1980
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat (untitled), 'MAN MADE Sweatshirt', c. 1979: Basquiat produced this rare original hand-painted sweatshirt (among others, with only few known to have survived) for the purposes of selling these on his own and through the historic downtown fashion boutique, Patricia Field’s. Basquiat was captured wearing a similar example in the well publicized 1979 photo, 'Basquiat Dancing at The Mudd Club' by Nicholas Taylor of Gray. This double-sided work notably features Basquiat’s ‘MANMADE’ tag - Basquiat’s alias after he took to the streets to declare “SAMO is Dead”. The work is further highlighted by Basquiat’s ‘BAD’ motif - uniquely paralleling his consideration to naming his band, ‘Bad Fools’ prior to Gray. In trademark Basquiat style, we also find the vertically spaced ‘E’ on both sides of the piece, as well as dashed lines which would appear in many of the artist’s Anti-Product cards, early drawings and more. The work emanates directly from the collection of world renowned author Lucy Sante (formerly Luc Sante). As it is well publicized, Basquiat worked with Sante in 1979/80 on the downtown-art scene publication, ‘Stranded’ (New York, 1980). Medium: Acrylic on cotton sweatshirt (double-sided artwork). Executed circa 1979/1980. Dimensions: 16.5 x 22 inches (outstretched cuff to cuff: 50 inches & sleeve length: 18 inches). Condition: In good overall vintage condition. Bright well-preserved colors; some minor discoloration in several areas due to normal age related wear and use; scattered stains located on the hem, inner arm area(s) and cuffs; scattered minor pilling; loose thread on the reverse of hem. Basquiat's artwork throughout remains fully intact. Unique. One of a kind. Signed ‘MANMADE’ and numbered 5/100 on the reverse. Provenance: Gifted by Basquiat to Lucy Sante; obtained directly from the former. Sante's relationship to Basquiat is well documented in three publications (see below literature/references for more). Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Sante. Literature/References: -'Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat,' by Sarah Driver - this 2018 documentary features an in-depth section devoted to Basquiat's 'Man Made' clothing, featuring an interview with designer Patricia Field & artist Kenny Scharf. - 'Basquiat Before Basquiat' (MCA Denver; see Sante, p.40-43 ). - 'Stranded' issue four index (Spring 1980). Basquiat's identity is confirmed as 'Man-Made' midway on page. - 'Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat' (Howl Arts 2018; essay: 'Stranded' by Lucy Sante). - 'An Intimate Look at Jean-Michel Basquiat's Early Days' by Lucy Sante (Village Voice 2/8/17). -'Man Made by Basquiat' (MinnieMuse) May 2019. -'Exploring Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1970's Clothing Collection, 'Man Made.'' Vice Magazine, May 2019. - ‘The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader’ (Moore pg. 334) discusses Basquiat’s Man Made painted clothing. - 'Basquiat Dancing at The Mudd Club' photograph by Nicholas Taylor of Gray (Basquiat wears a similarly painted sweatshirt). Basquiat’s use of ’MAN MADE', see: - Glenn O'Brien "Graffiti '80;" High Times, June 1980 (p. 53-54); "Jean-Michel Basquiat who is known to many as SAMO, had changed his alias to Man Made". - Jean-Michel Basquiat: 1981, the Studio of the Street (Diego Cortez; 2007 p. 80). - The Last Time I Saw Basquiat (NYR Daily 9/3/16; essay by Lucy Sante). - Basquiat: Boom For Real (Barbican; Nairne, Buchhart & Johnson p.26). - Sotheby's S2 Catalog & Sale, "Man Made" (May 2013). Intertextual References: Basquiat's 'BAD' motif further appears in the following 1979 works: - "Stupid Games, Bad Ideas" (color xerox; see Basquiat: Boom For Real pg. 108). - Basquiat (untitled) "Test Pattern" (original drawing and xerox; see Basquiat: Boom For Real pg. 147). - Basquiat (untitled) "Gumby Is Bad" t-shirt (worn on camera by the artist at Canal Zone...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Acrylic

Basquiat Test Pattern 1979 (Basquiat Gray)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat Test Pattern 1979: Basquiat created this flyer on the occasion of a performance by his band, Test Pattern (later renamed to ...
Category

1970s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset, Lithograph

Basquiat Gray 1980
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat (untitled) Gray 1980: An exceptionally rare 1980 flyer created by Basquiat for his band, GRAY. Literature: Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981: The Studio of the Street', (Deitch, Cortez, Vassell): Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music (Buchhart, Bessières, Desmarais). Further background as follows: Basquiat illustrated & printed this work much in the manner of his well-documented, Anti-Product Cards and several other xerox collages of this period: here, Basquiat draws over a found image, then employs his famous William Burroughs style 'cut-up' technique; completing the piece by abstractly scrawling the word, 'Gray' above. RARE & not be to be passed on. Medium: Color Xerox on paper. 1980. Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches. Condition: Good overall vintage condition; scattered soiling marks; minor signs of handling & aging; typewriting on the reverse; minor corner bending in one or more places. Unsigned from an edition of unknown; few known to have survived. Provenance: Obtained directly from a prominent Basquiat Gray...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset, Lithograph

Basquiat Downtown 81 film poster (vintage Basquiat)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat Downtown 81: A rare massive-sized theatrical poster published circa 2001 to promote the historical early 1980s Basquiat film: Downtown 81. A highly collectible ...
Category

Early 2000s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Lithograph, Offset

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Andy Warhol designed record cover 1986 (John Lennon menlove ave)
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Basquiat Picasso Exhibition Catalog 1983 (Expressive Painting After Picasso)
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Legendary "American Express" by Edery, Pop Art
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Basquiat Enrico Navarra Gallery Paris 1999 (announcement)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat Enrico Navarra Gallery Paris 1999: Rare vintage Basquiat Mr Chow announcement card published on the occasion of: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gal...
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1990s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

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Flowers, Galerie Sonnabend announcement invitation card addressed with postmark
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Andy Warhol (after) Flowers, Galerie Sonnabend announcement invitation card, 1970 Offset lithograph on smooth card, addressed with postmark 7 1/5 × 7 1/5 inches Unframed Instead of observing flowers in nature, Andy Warhol found his botanical inspiration in a 1964 issue of Modern Photography. He transformed a photograph of hibiscus blossoms into a technicolor series of silkscreens, each simply titled Flowers and debuted at the influential Leo Castelli Gallery later that same year. Silkscreens from that exhibition have since sold for over $2 million at auction. While they evoke the Flower Power movement of the 1960s, Warhol’s Flowers have also be interpreted as a symbol of mourning, as the artist created these works just after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination...
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1970s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

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Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Framed Announcement-card, 1975
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Artist: Andy Warhol (after) Title: 'Mick Jagger' Framed Announcement card. Medium: Lithograph Size: Image size: 6" x 4" Framed: 10" x 8" Year: 1975 Description: Signed and numbered o...
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Andy Warhol record art 1964 (Warhol album art)
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Stephen Sprouse Andy Warhol Debbie Harry record art 1986 (Set of 4)
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Previously Available Items
Untitled
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 2014 Screenprints in color on three individual maple wood skate decks With artist's printed signature on verso 31 x 8 in. (78.7 x 20.3 cm), each, unfr...
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21st Century and Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pez Dispenser, 1984/2021
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Manchester, GB
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pez Dispenser, 1984/2021 Print on Monte Carlo 300gsm watercolour paper in a sustainably sourced black gallery frame. Framed size 64 x 84 cm Frame included Y...
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2010s Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Trumpet, 1984/2021
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Manchester, GB
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pez Dispenser, 1984/2021
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pez Dispenser, 1984/2021
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982/2021
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Manchester, GB
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982/2021 Lithograph print on Monte Carlo 300gsm watercolour paper framed in a sustainably sourced black ash with acrylic glazing. Image size: 47 ...
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982/2021
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Manchester, GB
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982/2021 Lithograph print on Monte Carlo 300gsm watercolour paper framed in a sustainably sourced black ash with acrylic glazing. Image size: 47 ...
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dustheads, 1982/2021
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Manchester, GB
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Trumpet, 1984/2021
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Located in Manchester, GB
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pez Dispenser, 1984/2021
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Signed Basquiat magazine 1987 (Basquiat Stephen Barker)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Signed 1987 Jean-Michel Basquiat magazine: Ultra-rare signed Basquiat edition of the German art journal, Wolkenkratzer. Hand-signed in black marker ...
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Basquiat Area 1985 (Basquiat birthday Area 1985)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat Area 1985: Basquiat illustrated this incredibly rare printed invitation on the occasion of his December 19th, 1985 birthday at the much historic, 1980s NY nightc...
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Jean-michel Basquiat art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Jean-Michel Basquiat art available for sale on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of yellow and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Jean-Michel Basquiat in lithograph, offset print, paper and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 21st century and contemporary and is mostly associated with the Pop Art style. Not every interior allows for large Jean-Michel Basquiat art, so small editions measuring 8 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Ronnie Cutrone, John Grillo, and Donald Baechler. Jean-Michel Basquiat art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $475 and tops out at $120,000, while the average work can sell for $2,850.

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Questions About Jean-Michel Basquiat Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The meaning of Jean-Michel Basquiat's art varied from piece to piece. Generally, the American artist attempted to illustrate dichotomies, such as the experience of the wealthy versus the experience of the poor and the inner self versus the outer self. On 1stDibs, shop a range of Jean-Michel Basquiat art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    You can see Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings in a number of locations. Some of his work is in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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