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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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Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat
Bearbrick 1000% Basquiat #8
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in palma de mallorca, ES
8th edition of the legenday collaboration between Medicom Toy and Jean Michel Basquiat. Featuring an all-body print with the classic crown logo of the artist. Jean-Michel Basquiat w...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Street Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

PVC

Anthony Clarke
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Publisher: Estate of Jean Michel Basquiat in collaboration with Artestar and Skateroom Please see our other listings
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Basquiat The Offs 1984 (vintage Basquiat poster)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Basquiat The Offs, 1984 (rare vintage promo poster): In 1984, San Francisco new wave band, The Offs, famously commissioned Jean-Michel Basquiat to illustrate the artwork for their fi...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

Basquiat Test Pattern
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Test Pattern, 1979 Rare highly sought-after Basquiat illustrated flyer to announce a performance by his band, Test Pattern (later renamed to Gray), at the much ...
Category

1970s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset, Lithograph

Basquiat Gray vinyl record signed (Basquiat Record Art)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
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 (...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

Basquiat The Offs 1984
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Basquiat The Offs 1984: "The Offs: First Record" original first printing, 1984 featuring original offset artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Difficult to find in good condition with al...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

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Lithograph, Offset

Basquiat Gray 1980
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Jean-Michel Basquiat (untitled) Gray 1980: Basquiat produced this exceptionally rare xerox collage during the early days of his band, 'Gray.' The piece emanates from the collection o...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

Basquiat Food for the Soup Kitchens (vintage Basquiat poster)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Basquiat 1983: Jean-Michel Basquiat 'Food for the Soup Kitchens' Fashion Moda, New York 1983 Basquiat illustrated this rare sought-after exhibit poster for the “Food for the Soup Kit...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset, Lithograph

Beat Bop
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Jean Michel Basquiat (after). This is a reissue of the classic album cover designed for Beat Bop with Rammellzee
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

Supercomb
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Supercomb
Category

1980s Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Lithograph

Jean Michel Basquiat Drawings
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT Jean Michel Basquiat Drawings, 1985 Hardback monographand offset lithograph illustrations. Hand signed and numbered in ink by Basquiat 10 1/2 × 14 × 1/2 inches E...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset

The Offs poster
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Rare vintage promo poster produced in 1984 for The Offs album release. Featuring a sketch done by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the final cover artwork chosen was a reversed version, mak...
Category

1980s Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Set of 5 skateboard decks Publisher: Estate of Jean Michel Basquiat in collaboration with Artestar Please see our other listings
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Quality Meats for Public
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Set of 3 skateboard decks Publisher: Estate of Jean Michel Basquiat in collaboration with Artestar Please see our other listings
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

400% & 100% Bearbrick
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
400% & 100% Bearbrick
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

PVC

Snowboard
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Snowboard
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Fiberglass

Gold Griot
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Estate of Jean Michel Basquiat in collaboration with Artestar and Skateroom Please see our other listings
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Vol. 8
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in Washington , DC, DC
After Jean Michel Basquiat. Comes with original box
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Plastic

Untitled (Area)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
Intended limited-edition of 500, far less actually realized. Precious few survived.... Very rare limited-edition of an intricate drawing by Basquiat utilizing both words and image...
Category

1980s Street Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Lithograph

Portrait of a Collector
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
UNIQUE - Offset lithograph with original black marker drawing Signed, and dated "86" in marker, lower right front Foundry/Publisher Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, D...
Category

1980s Street Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Offset, Permanent Marker

Ligaments of the Elbow
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in London, GB
Screenprint, 1982, on Arches 88 paper, signed in pencil on the front and numbered in pencil on the reverse, from the edition of 18 numbered consecutively on the reverse (there were a...
Category

1980s Post-War Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Screen

Hans Mayer
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in New York, NY
Very limited-edition Hand-signed and dated in center with black marker Custom framed dimensions: 44.5" high x 33.5" wide Extremely rare; excellent condition
Category

1980s Street Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Archival Paper, Lithograph

Basquiat Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf 1988 (1980s Basquiat exhibition poster)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Basquiat Galerie Hans Mayer Düsseldorf 1988: A rare, exceptional 1980s Basquiat illustrated exhibition poster published on the occasion of 'Jean-Michel Basquiat at Galerie Hans Maye...
Category

1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

Materials

Lithograph, Offset

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Basquiat & Warhol hand-illustrated 'Purse' 1984 (Warhol Basquiat)
By Jean-Michel Basquiat
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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol (untitled) 'Purse' 1984: With dollar signs drawn by Warhol and with crowns and "eye" drawing by Basquiat, this purse was worn by Warhol, Basquiat fr...
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Basquiat Gray vinyl record signed (Basquiat Record Art)
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Basquiat (untitled) 'BAD'
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1980s Pop Art Jean-Michel Basquiat Art

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Jean-Michel Basquiat art for sale on 1stDibs

Find wide variety of authentic Jean-Michel Basquiat art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Jean-Michel Basquiat in offset print, lithograph and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Pop Art style. Not every interior allows for large Jean-Michel Basquiat art, so small editions measuring 8.5 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of Ed Ruscha, Tom Wesselmann and Jasper Johns. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $575 and tops out at $24,000, while the average work can sell for $5,650..

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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.

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