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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Flexible, 1984 NY_TCA_MAY18_EVE_VANITY BASQUIAT_Cover.indd 8

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Jean-Michel Basquiat Flexible, 1984


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“The arms took a nice shape, they fused together in a single curve.” The artist on Flexible


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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York, 17 May 2018, 5pm

Property from the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat


Flexible signed with the artist’s initials, titled and dated ““FLEXIBLE” JMB 1984” on the reverse acrylic and oilstick on wood 102 x 75 in. (259.1 x 190.5 cm.) Executed in 1984. Estimate Upon Request Provenance Acquired from the artist by the present owner Exhibited New York, Mary Boone Gallery, Jean-Michel Basquiat, March 2 - 23, 1985, n.p. (illustrated) Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Centre Culturel Français, JeanMichel Basquiat, October 10 - November 7, 1986 New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, JeanMichel Basquiat, October 23, 1992 - February 14, 1993 (illustrated, p. 204; 1985 installation view illustrated, p. 246) New York, Brooklyn Museum; Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art; Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Basquiat, March 11, 2005–February 12, 2006, p. 140 (illustrated) Riehen/Basel, Fondation Beyeler, Basquiat, May 9– September 5, 2010, no. 146 (illustrated, p. 145; 1985 installation view, illustrated p. 144) Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Basquiat, October 15, 2010 - January 30, 2011, no. 145 (1985 installation view illustrated, p. 138; illustrated, p. 139) Literature Cathleen McGuigan, “New Art, New Money,” The New York Times Magazine, no. 6, February 10, 1985, p. 21 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Phoebe Hoban, “SAMO is Dead”, New York Magazine, vol. 21, no. 38, September 26, 1988, pp. 36-37 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Kyoto Shoin International Co., Ltd., Kyoto, 1992, n.p. (illustrated) Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Palacio Episcopal de Málaga, 1996, p. 10 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Richard D. Marshall and Jean-Louis Prat, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vol. II, Paris, 1996, no. 7, fg. 33-34 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated, p. 211; illustrated, p. 130) Taka Kawachi, ed., King for a Decade, Kyoto, 1997, p. 110 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Jean-Michel Basquiat: œuvres sur papier, exh. cat., Fondation Dina Vierny-Musée Maillol, Paris, 1997, p. 161 (1985 installation view illustrated)


Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Mitsukoshi Museum, Tokyo, 1997 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated, p. 99, p. 115) Jean-Michel Basquiat: Obras sobre papel, exh. cat., Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, 1998, p. 115 (1985 installation view illustrated) Phoebe Hoban, Basquiat, A Quick Killing in Art, New York, 1998, p. 247 Basquiat, exh. cat., Museo Revoltella, Trieste, 1999 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated, p. 1; illustrated, backcover) Basquiat en la Habana, exh. cat., Museo del Ron Fundación Havana Club y Galería Haydeé Santamaría de la Casa de las Américas, Havana, 2000, p. 198 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Richard D. Marshall and Jean-Louis Prat, Jean-Michel Basquiat, 3rd ed., Vol. II, Paris, 2000, no. 7, p. 209 (illustrated) Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Museum Würth, Künzelsau, 2002, p. 39 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 2004, p. 10 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Museo d’arte moderna della città di Lugano, Lugano, 2005, p. 185 Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Kukje Gallery, Seoul, 2006, (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated, pp. 25, 69) Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981 : the studio of the street, exh. cat., Deitch Projects, New York, 2006, p. 244 The Jean-Michel Basquiat Show, exh. cat., Fondazione la Triennale di Milano, Milan, 2006, p. 6 (1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated) Graham Lock and David Murray, eds., The Hearing Eye: Jazz & Blues Infuences in African American Visual Art, New York, 2009, p. 259 Richard D. Marshall and Jean-Louis Prat, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Appendix, Paris, 2010, 3rd ed., p. 49 (2010 installation view illustrated) Fred Hofman, The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, New York, 2017 (detail illustrated, p. 46; 2005 installation view illustrated, p. 26; 1985 The New York Times Magazine photo shoot illustrated, p. 27)

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Flexible Fred Hofman

Fred Hofman, PhD, worked closely with JeanMichel Basquiat during the artist’s residency in Venice, California in the early 1980s. He has written extensively on Basquiat’s practice, most recently authoring The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, published in 2017.

When Jean-Michel Basquiat was asked to defne his art, he answered without hesitation “royalty, heroism, and the streets.” This is the vision of Flexible, 1984. In many ways, this artwork serves as a summation of these three central themes. The fgure Basquiat depicts is a tribal king. His posture, with arms raised and interlocked above his head, conveys confdence and authority, attributes of his heroism. He seems to be crowning himself. The nature of the picture support, and the way in which this work came about, takes us back to the artist’s origins on the streets of Manhattan.

Jean-Michel Basquiat in his studio, 1985 (present work shown). Image © Lizzie Himmel, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018


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Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1984 Wood Slat Works in Highly Distinguished Collections

M. Private Collection

Gold Griot. Eli Broad Collection, Los Angeles

Grillo. Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris


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Present lot


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Robert Rauschenberg, Winter Pool, 1959. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/VAGA, NY

Bringing the Street into the Studio Afer opening his exhibition at the Larry Gagosian Gallery in West Hollywood in early March 1983, Jean-Michel Basquiat returned to New York, where virtually overnight he completed some of his most important paintings including Notary, The Nile, In Italian and Mitchell Crew. Later that year he was drawn back to Los Angeles, which aforded him a bufer from an increasingly challenging New York art world. With his return to Los Angeles, Basquiat opened his own studio, again on Market Street in Venice where he had worked previously, in Larry Gagosian’s townhouse. Working in a location just one block of the beach, Jean-Michel mostly avoided the constant coming and goings from the Venice boardwalk. Commuting from the L’Hermitage Hotel in West Hollywood, he usually arrived at his studio in


the afernoon, worked late into the evening, sometimes into the next day. The back door of the studio opened onto a small courtyard, which was enclosed by an eight-foot-high, deteriorating slat wood fence. One night, while taking a break from painting, Jean-Michel walked out into this space, and was startled by the presence of a homeless man who had somehow managed to slip into the courtyard between two sections of the fence. This experience had a strong impact upon the artist, and he decided to remove the wood fence, essentially returning the patio to the Venice ambience. While Basquiat would no longer have an enclosed patio, he would no longer need to fear someone sleeping in his backyard and invading his privacy. Afer making plans for the removal of the wood fencing material, JeanMichel instructed his assistants to bring the now deconstructed fence into the studio.

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Within a day or two the wood slats started to take on a new life. Using longer sections of the wood fencing as vertical supports, the artist had the individual wood slats stacked horizontally, thereby turning the fence material into new, unique picture supports. Here in Venice, some three thousand miles from his earlier pictorial expression on the walls of the Manhattan streets, Basquiat had now found the means of bringing the street into the studio.

A New Formalism Picture supports made from wood slat fencing material were used in more than 17 paintings made between 1984 and 1986. The earliest and most recognized of these works were Flexible, Gold Griot, 1984, and M, 1984, followed later in 1984 by Grillo, a work Basquiat executed upon his return to New York. Eli Broad quickly added Gold Griot to his extensive collection of works by the young artist. Jean-Michel Basquiat kept Flexible for his own personal collection. The works made from wood slat fencing gave Basquiat a new way to integrate his art with

his penchant for life on the street. While the frst wood slat picture supports were executed in Venice, California and came from previously existing fences, the artist made several wood slat picture supports from material purchased at a Soho lumber yard at a later time in New York, in 1984–1986. In contrast to the earlier, exposed stretcher bar supports, these slat supports introduced a new formalism into the work. The irregularity and refuse-like quality of the earlier works, such as One Million Yen, 1982, Rubell Family Collection, or Untitled (Ernok), 1982, questioned whether the picture support fulflled the function for which it was conceived. Basquiat’s new picture support construction owes a debt to the work of Robert Rauschenberg. The senior artist’s almost alchemical ability to take materials, even detritus, from our daily lives, objects not loaded with signifcance as art, and transform them into forms laden with esthetic content and value, was of immense importance to Basquiat as he moved from the street into the studio. In

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Rauschenberg), 1986-1987. Private Collection, Image Galerie Enrico Navarra, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018


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Jean-Michel Basquiat painting Gold Griot, Venice, CA, 1984. Image © Brian D. Williams, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018

Male sculpture from the Luluwa Period, 19th century. Werner Forman Archive/J.W. Gillon Collection, Image HIP/Art Resource, NY

Rauschenberg’s Winter Pool, 1959, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the two highly worked outer panels are separated by a ladderlike structure that extends down and touches the foor. With this common, clearly cast-of and retrieved object, Rauschenberg linked the act of painting with our world. Trophy IV (for John Cage), 1961, presents a series of found objects positioned on top of a low, wood-slat structure that functioned as a picture support. Here too, the modest materials used to create this “arena of art” allow the viewer to enter into a more neutral space unburdened with the cultural and historical associations of “high art.” It was an astute awareness of Robert Rauschenberg’s art historical contribution that enabled the accomplished young artist Basquiat to turn the fence of his courtyard into an important and essential component of his artwork.

respect and seriousness. With their weight, density and scale, these works demand to be noticed. It is instructive to recall the installation of Gold Griot and Flexible in the Basquiat retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The two works towered over the immense exhibition space. Like stop signs, these structures caused the viewer to slow down, and pay attention.

With the incorporation of the wood fence supports, Basquiat seemed to declare that his imagery must be regarded with the utmost


An Imposing Presence It is not coincidental that with these new picture supports, Basquiat introduced more authoritative imagery in his representation of the standing black male. While the fgure in Flexible shares some similarity with the central fgure of Notary, 1983, and to a certain degree the fgures depicted in The Philistines, 1982, it marks a change in the artist’s subject matter. In Notary, the key fgural as well as iconographic precedent for Flexible, the central fgure is part

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of an overall narrative content, intertwined in a cacophony of images and symbols. In contrast, the central fgure of Flexible exists in solitude, looming over the viewer. Here Basquiat’s concern is for immediate, frontal engagement. In his portrayal of the ribs, Basquiat fattens out the fgure, allowing the rib-chest portion to be represented as horizontal bands which become one and the same with the shape of the wooden slats. This integration of image and support adopts a formal pictorial solution more commonly associated with minimalist painting. In this regard, Flexible brings to representational image-making the same formal rigor Jasper Johns achieved in his American fag paintings and Frank Stella applied to his early geometric compositions. Flexible also pays homage to pop art esthetics. Basquiat’s use of wooden slats negates the viewer’s inclination to move into an illusionistic space traditionally associated with the picture surface. Like a pop art painting, such as Andy Warhol’s Elvis, 1962, Flexible provides no place “into” which the viewer can retreat. We are invited to engage this fgure in “our” space. Basquiat’s fgure is directly in front of us, without illusion. Flexible is nearly ten feet in height. In the photograph of Basquiat at work on the companion work Gold Griot in his Venice studio, the head of his fgure dwarfs the artist’s beneath it. The concrete nature of Basquiat’s materials, and the tight, cohesive relationship between image and surface, give Flexible a unique and imposing presence.

Manifestation of a Higher Power Basquiat’s frst narrative representation of a heroic black male is in Acque Pericolose, 1981, Schorr Family Collection, and Per Capita, 1981, Brant Foundation. Acque Pericolose presents a full-length black nude male whose hands are folded across his chest. The isolated male fgure of Acque Pericolose, begun in mid-1981, underwent a signifcant transition over the next twelve months. This iconic subject was frst represented as a raw, fully exposed and humbled youth, but quickly evolved in a series of paintings, each showing a fully mature and heroic male fgure flling a signifcant portion of the pictorial feld and surrounded with a collection of symbols. Per Capita, a depiction of Cassius Clay, was one of these works. These portray male boxers, red and black warriors, and other male fgures that personify heroism, power, dignity, and pride. Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump, 1982, Proft I, 1982, Untitled (Self Portrait), 1982, and Untitled (Boxer), 1982, are others that convey these attributes. In 1982, Basquiat produced no fewer than ffy-two paintings and thirty drawings in which the main image is an iconic, black male fgure. Some reference historical fgures, others are self portraits. The artist presents them at a victorious moment, with upraised arms. The image of a black male relating to both Basquiat’s “crew” and the artist himself is primarily the subject of his formative years 1981–1982. Eighteen months later, Flexible ushers in Basquiat’s representation of the black male as king or divinity fgure.

“I’m an artist who has been infuenced by his New York environment. But I have a cultural memory. I don’t need to look for it, it exists. It’s over there, in Africa. That doesn’t mean I have to go live there. Our cultural memory follows us everywhere, wherever you live.” Jean-Michel Basquiat


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The fgure in Flexible cannot be viewed as a mere mortal. This fgure exists beyond our world, a manifestation of a higher power. While many of Basquiat’s earlier images of a single black male portray specifc people, including the artist himself and well-known personalities from sports and music, the personage of Flexible is not an identifable character, but represents someone removed from our daily experience. Contrast the fgures of Flexible and Proft I, which were painted almost two years earlier. In Proft I, the fgure is represented with both arms raised, like a cactus plant, the gesture suggesting some kind of worldly heroism. The gold and red crown of thorns – or halo – over the fgure’s head is a sacred or perhaps heavenly symbol; its submersion in a black feld surrounded by cryptic scrawls and symbols counteracts these associations, aligning Basquiat’s fgure with our world. Flexible presents a signifcantly diferent kind of fgural presence. This fgure is as much a divine apparition as a living human being. With its austere and assertive background surface, the fgure of Flexible references sculptural representations of the divine in various sub-Saharan African cultures. In Flexible an oversized head, wide, slanted and partially closed eyes, a broad fat nose and mouth with prominent teeth, and cowry shells surrounding the eyes and along the hairline all indicate that Basquiat was infuenced by sub-Saharan African source material. Instilling his fgure with the same attributes of dignity, power and the sacred, the artist made an even stronger statement by devising a new picture support for his paintings of divinity fgures. The arm gestures in most of Basquiat’s representations of the black male extend upwards, signifying heroic achievement. The arm gesture depicted in Flexible is unique in Basquiat’s oeuvre. From each shoulder, two long, tubular-shaped green appendages, one vertical, the other frst extending downward and then vertically, join together as a continuous band above the fgure’s head. Now the fgure’s arms are linked together, signaling an act of


coronation. In works such as Proft I or The Philistines, Basquiat positioned a halo or nimbus above his fgure’s head. In other works, such as Charles the First, 1982, he added his now iconic crown. Both nimbus and crown imbue Basquiat’s personages with sanctity. Flexible diverges from the previous iconography, enabling the fgure’s arm position to convey the same attributes assigned to the halo or nimbus. Neither Gold Griot nor M, Basquiat’s two other images of royalty depicted on wood-slat fencing material, have a similar representation of their fgure’s arms. Painted immediately following these two works, in Flexible the royal attributes of the fgure are complemented by the additional symbolism of the sacred.

Heroism and Sanctity The meaning of the word “fexible” is to bend without breaking, be easily modifed, to respond well to altered circumstances. If one compares the way Basquiat schematically outlines the form of upraised arms in M with his rendering of the arms in Flexible, it is apparent that the later work conveys a freedom or playfulness not found in the more static gestural confguration of the work that preceded it. The highly expressive, freely fowing arm positioning captured in Flexible is a counterpoint to the regularity and order of the picture support. As previously noted, the arm gestures in Flexible are unusual for the artist. Faced with the “raw,” somewhat static imagery presented in M, Basquiat sought to enhance the characterization of his new, commanding royal fgure. The unconventional yet expressive arm confguration of Flexible is elastic. In their extension these arms are strong and fexible, contorting but not breaking. The limbs of Flexible stretch beyond their natural capacity, extending upward, eventually joining each other, forming symbols of both heroism and sanctity. Flexible is the expression of a highly confdent creator, an artist capable of taking chances, able to play with a given motif or subject matter, expanding his pictorial moves as he develops his themes.

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“I don’t think about art when I make art. I think about life.” Jean-Michel Basquiat


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“In the beginning I worked on wood because that’s always free, working on the doors and windows of the Lower East Side. And then I started working on canvas when I got into a gallery. No cut that, I started to work on canvas before that. I like some of the canvases I’ve done, but I really enjoy the wood more.” Jean-Michel Basquiat


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Photograph of Jean-Michel Basquiat for The New York Times Magazine (cover), February 10, 1985. Image Lizzie Himmel, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018


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A Conversation with Lizzie Himmel: The Woman Behind the Lens Interviewed by Roselyn Mathews

Lizzie Himmel is a New York-based photographer who shot the iconic picture of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Flexible. Roselyn Mathews: Lizzie, you were the photographer behind the shoot with Basquiat and Flexible. Could you give us some insights on how these photographs came to be? Lizzie Himmel: I was hired by The New York Times Magazine to do a cover story on grafti artists and Basquiat was meant to be the lead picture. It was a group of portraits of Keith Haring, David Salle, and Basquiat with their gallery directors. RM: Can you take me back to the day that you took these photos and describe your interactions with Basquiat? LH: Yes, I remember the day so clearly. There is something about being behind a camera that makes you remember all of the details so vividly. I arrived at his studio, which was on the frst foor while his bedroom was on the second. Basquiat, being the celebrity he was at the time, was with this beautiful blond bombshell, and his studio manager. I dressed him in an Armani suit that I found in his closet. I decided to keep him shoeless because I was annoyed that he was not ready for the photo shoot. At the time he was getting so much press as a young artist. When we got into Basquiat’s studio, I placed some of the works, but I wanted him interacting with the pieces. You have to remember that at the time he was not who he is today. He wasn’t selling for millions, but he did have a great gallery. He’s one of my favorite artists. It was his prime in terms of work. I photographed Basquiat twice, once for The New York Times Magazine and a second time with Warhol, which was done about six months afer I shot him with Flexible.


RM: What did you think of the works you saw in the studio space? LH: As any photographer who does a cover, I tried to consider the fact there’s going to be typeface on it. I love Flexible but it was a little too strong to hold a lot of typeface on the page. The box and Basquiat were a really good combination because I loved the threedimensional quality of the box against the paintings. There weren’t a lot of objects and I wanted him on top of an artwork. RM: When you google Basquiat, your pictures are the frst ones that come up. They seem to have become synonymous with the artist. How does that make you feel? LH: I understand that and it is absolutely crazy. It does make me a little uncomfortable since I’ve done so much work in my life that I am really proud of. It is the picture that’s associated with my name. . . When he died there weren’t many photos of him other than those from The New York Times Magazine. . . I photographed a lot of important people who were also on Times covers. But he died really young, and there was nobody else who photographed him that much except his girlfriends. RM: How would you describe Basquiat’s work? LH: His work was very graphic. It was very political of its time. I think they’re incredibly bold and interesting. I think that he’s a great painter. I think that the paintings themselves become beautiful felds of work. Besides all the words, he was really conscious of color. He’s really conscious to form, you know. When I frst walked into his studio for The New York Times shoot, I loved seeing his works in person because it felt very diferent from seeing them in a gallery setting. They were big!

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Flexible in Major Institutional Shows, 1985–2010

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, March 2–23, 1985 (present work exhibited)

Basquiat, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, July–October, 2005 (present work exhibited)


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Basquiat, Brooklyn Museum, March 11, 2005–February 12, 2006 (present work exhibited)

Basquiat, Foundation Beyeler, Basel, May 9–September 5, 2010 (present work exhibited)


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Activating Heaven: The Incantatory Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat Robert Farris Thompson Mary Boone Exhibition Catalogue Essay, 1985

The young man found the village of heaven very pleasant, full of movement and fne things. Mbala myth, Zaire The art of Jean-Michel Basquiat leads modern painting to a new intensity. He transforms paint into incantation, print into a mode of meditation. His colors frequently take on initiatory force. They are drenched with afect. His technique is auto-bricolage. This means all the bits and pieces he brings together in his compositionspainted writing, act of erasure, spirit-heads, fgures, diagrams, letters—he makes himself. Afro-Atlanticist extraordinaire, he colors the energy of modern art (itself in debt to Africa) with his own transmutations of sub-Saharan plus creole black impress and fguration. He chants print. He chants body. He chants them in splendid repetitions. Being is double. “Facts” spoken in one painting may recur within another. Forms are rifed and rifed and rifed again until he penetrates, for instance, the weight of crocodile, the weight of spirit-head, the weight of elephant, the weight of carbon, and the weight of alphabetic writing. And once he has done this, intuited the mass and density of diferent icons through nearspiritualized repetition and ecstatic focus, becoming one with their pulse and weight, he moves on to other visions, in process of ceaseless self-astonishment. The result, dare I characterize his meteoric rise, is a heroic embodiment of the impact of Afro-Atlantic civilizations on the world, at levels of spiritual insight and artistic ecstasy. He will force a new criticism upon us. He will bring into being a tough-minded and multilingual creole discourse on form and meaning appropriate to New York today, not only as center of world art but also as the unique gathering place of black Puerto Ricans, Haitians, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Colombians, and Brazilians, defning a not so secret African city. With his rise and with this context, it seems to me, the vanguard of


Western art and Afro-Atlantic visual happening now are becoming one. This has enormous implications. One can well imagine that. And one can well imagine how pleased I was to meet Basquiat at his studio near the Bowery in New York one afernoon in January 1985. Reggae blared from everywhere. Young women and young men were bustling about, preparing canvas, nailing handsome slats of thick brown wood into supports for future works. JeanMichel met me dressed in blue, his tie boldly striped dark blue and red. Speaking with quiet authority, no hesitation to his words or gestures, he led us to a dining area and served us star apples from Jamaica and glasses of excellent red Bordeaux. He introduced us to a personable young black man in gentle dreadlocks named Shenge, an assistant in charge of general calm and cool. It turned to a painting and asked a question. Basquiat: “It’s a young black kid, on the street.” We were momentarily interrupted by an Australian reporter on assignment. And then he showed me another portrait and rewarded me with a diferent kind of comment: “No, that’s black orange, that orange is not going to be there when the work is fnished—it’s just to focus the woman.” In all this space the walls were clearly the work-intensive area. They supported painting afer painting, collage afer collage, in various stages of completion. I was particularly impressed with a composition with Egyptianizing fguration, dark heads with almond bird-slant eyes, making Basquiat the spiritual brother of Aaron Douglas, the great black muralist of the ‘thirties, who painted with an optic partially and deliberately deriving from the Nile. Wherever the eye roamed there was discovery: painted print proclaiming BO DIDDLEY, blues guitarist, and a diagram of an arm, ancient Egyptian, inscribed INNER ARM. Because he is black and because he is young some critics will not be able to resist the temptation to link Basquiat to the more obvious forms of New York black and Puerto Rican street

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art. However, Basquiat, though fercely loyal to his local black friends, remains an avatar of universalizing vision, multiply black, AfroAtlantic. In his hands black vision becomes at once private, public, didactic, playful, serious, sardonic, responsible, and, above all, deliberate. In search of understanding that deliberate vision I returned to his studio on a snow-lit night in February. The door opened. This time Basquiat was upstairs. There I was summoned. I found him in his bedroom, seated on a king-sized bed before which blazed a giant television, animate with sci-f images. Behind the screen, in the tricky distances of a complex room, were a library, a painting by Shenge, more books, a metal cabinet gleaming with the shade of green which enlivens Frogmen, a painting of 1983, and a dividing wall in gleaming black ceramic tile.

The television gave back images of burly American police staring with incomprehension at absurd extraplanetary crystals, then fring bullets through transparent beings. Through all this nonsense Basquiat’s AfroAmerican intonation cut like a fery knife through butter: “YO! RoBIN!” And Robin, a black friend, brought refreshments. On a table, by a book of Warner Brothers movies, were color proofs of collaborations, dating from 1984, between Andy Warhol and Basquiat. I looked at one of them. Warhol had taken a photograph of a map of China, colored it yellow and edged it in red. Basquiat cut across this map with a black fgure that stared intently with yellow eyes. I turned the photograph over. Suddenly I was backstage in a theater of names. There, clearly in Basquiat’s hand, were various trial titles:

Jean-Michel Basquiat outside of Mary Boone Gallery, 1985. Image Mary Boone Gallery


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the Mississippi Delta, a painting of Southern images, and all he would say was “You forgot to cross out CATFISH.” (On the other hand, TM and © have other meanings in other paintings: “Everything is so commercial.”) While thinking these thoughts it occurred to me that someone inevitably will write a book linking this aspect of Basquiat’s style with Jacques Derrida’s writings on the nature of erasure. It also occurred to me that I will not be that person. I looked up and there was Warhol, a walking laser in white hair and black clothes, intent upon a single purpose—getting Basquiat into the taxi to whisk him away to Keith Haring’s beneft exhibition for African relief.

Jean-Michel Basquiat in Downtown 81, 1980–1981. Image © New York Beat Film LLC

Big Pagoda (crossed out), Pest (crossed out), Peking (crossed out), Pagoda Point (crossed out), Diameter of the Pest. The last bore no erasure and was presumably the working title. Now I had a clue to one of the reasons behind his frequent citations of TM (trademark) and © (copyright) in proximity to crossed-out words. For just as women and men playing jazz, with an attack principle of performance, bring weak notes up to the level of strong notes in what Gunther Schuller memorably terms “the democratization of the beat,” so Basquiat, as part of his trademark, his copyright, demands that we consider the equal potency of statement and erasure. Negative gesture can be just as important as positive thrust. Indeed I got a richer sense of this characteristic of his work when I showed Basquiat a quick sketch I made of one of his works. Unrevised Undiscovered Genius of


I followed in my car with Basquiat’s three friends. They laughed at the condition of the streets, the sliding of the automobile. Suddenly I thought of Nigeria, where once a person said to me, “The road is gallopy, of course.” We slid into place in front of the gallery. Pictures by various artists hung on three walls, and Keith Haring stood in middle foreground, friendly and lithe. Warhol disappeared. Basquiat, presently, was ready to go home. We returned to the studio together. His three friends immediately seated themselves tightly together. In a quasi-huddle, and began to laugh and joke. Basquiat turned on black classical music, also known as jazz, very sonorous, very pure. In the midst of all this, Jean-Michel began quietly to work. From cabinets full of already prepared drawings, of reptiles and printed letters and words and many other things, he selected an image of a crocodile, very narrow and very emerald. He pasted it onto an already half-completed composition. And another crocodile. And another. He stepped back to consider the efect of the repetition. Then he tore into two pieces (a three-dimensional erasure) another drawing of a crocodile and let one half fall to the foor. The other half he pasted, just so, at the summit of an apparently abstract shape in grey.

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As he worked, sometimes he took humor from his crew of three, sharing in their joke, and sometimes not. He responded to the jazz music in similar fashion, sometimes moving to the pulse, sometimes not, attentive to his pasting, standing, regarding, dipping into further drawings, making collage again. The composition began to gleam. Reptile green. Teeth against crimson. Everywhere fragments of painted print. For instance, he pasted on a fragment emblazoned with repeated X’s and Y’s. It came to rest in the middle of the composition. He found more pieces, identically decorated, and sited them, on a diagonal, lef through center to lower right. The blues appeared in certain portions of the work. They were painted titles like Hardwick Blues, recalling Sonny Boy Williamson’s Bad Luck Blues, and a telling citation of Robert Johnson’s masterpieces, Hellhound On… Characteristically, the rest of the title (My trail) was torn of. Basquiat’s blues typography, at once interruptive and complete, makes visual black song, with equivalents to pause, shout, spacing, and breath. Basquiat broke of work and rested in a chair. And then he went upstairs, turned on the television, and began another composition, a drawing of a mask in his collection, the same mask which appears in the lower right of Wicker (1984).

These stones represent your talents. They are rough. Take them, wherever you are, and place them in water. Immersed, they will become smooth and beautiful. Make your life fuid, make your life pure, or you will remain rough like these stones out of water. And pray, in creole, to these stones each day, asking of God the right decisions.

Basquiat’s Sudden Entrance, or the Shape of Creole Time Basquiat and his spiritual allies, Keith Haring and James Brown, do not so much portray historical progression in their works (though to be sure their styles, as in traditional art, are changing) as they proclaim a right to step out of time in the Western mode and into the timeless ness of mind in its natural state. In other words, they are attracted to the traditionalist power to keep things prior and strong. Keith Haring, for instance, has become a traditional art style of one. His fying saucers, barking dogs, angels, erotica, and innocence are all fltered through an instantly recognizable set of athletically silhouetted, moving forms. His forms are as confdent and self-proclaiming as fgurations from a San Blas mola from Panama, as tensile and wiry as the warrior god of old Dahomey rendered in schematic iron or brass. Similarly, James Brown has seen things Picasso never saw, dreamt things Derain never dreamt—that Kongo blade-encrusted images of jurisprudence (called “fetishes” by modernist philistines) could, if drawn lovingly enough, if lived with enough, become afectionately quotidian. Brown’s blade-images, amazingly transformed, take on the body and the stance of the guy next door without losing any of their power. It is one thing to commit an afnity with an ethnographic museum object, in search of stylistic freshness and intensity in Paris at the turn of the century, it is quite another thing to live with the traditional forms, love them, stay with them, dream with them, until they are as natural to the touch and as amiably potential as cadmium yellow or the laughter of a friend. There are no styles in competition here, African versus modern, and certainly no ugly attempts to read the whole of African creativity as it were a footnote to modern Western art and sculpture.

Afro-Louisiana ritual, New Orleans, 1971


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I think we are witnessing the revelation of an unsuspected form of artistic developmental time, running faster than ordinary Western archaic-classical-hellenistic, or early-middlelate, time clusters divided into sixty years of innovation and sixty years of consolidation. The hurtling velocity of jazz or New York grafti history derives its energy from the collision of more than two traditions.

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, Area, New York, 1984. Image © Ben Buchanan/Bridgeman

The fres that fueled Afro-New York painting are real and active in the cauldron of Basquiat’s colliding styles. In that fre we read the power to force future historians to redefne the terms of developmental discourse in modes culturally appropriate to what has really been going on in the largest city of the world, and in the works of Basquiat’s brothers and sisters in key areas of the Afro-Atlantic world, over the past one hundred years. For instance, if Saamaka and Njuga maroons (run-away slaves) in the rainforests of Suriname moved from a tropical archaic to a tropical baroque in less than one hundred years, if jazz leapt from plainsong to symphony, as it were, in less than sixty years, if New York subway grafteros made, in less than ten years, an efective transition from tentative wall scrawls to polychrome interlace of complexity comparable to Irish or Islamic art, then something remarkable is going on here.


Jazzmen brought their intracultural stylistic development to a quicker efervescence through knowledge of already worked-out problems and solutions in parallel “folk,” “popular,” and “classical” traditions. This creates, I suggest, the shape of creole time. And by “creole” I mean something concrete and specifc: a visual tradition emerging from three or more sources. Myriad African and Western and even Amerind sources fused in the formation of Suriname art in northern South America. It is a known fact that major jazzmen listen with afection and a pointed interest to everything. Similarly, the genius of Jean-Michel is founded precisely on that ability to move in creole time. Various formal languages serve as auxiliary rockets behind his signature fgurations, his spirit-heads and crossed-out words and columns of painted diagrams and legends. Each gesture is potentially, a fugitive from a diferent art history, adding to his incredible velocity. His famous frantic year, 1981, in the basement of a Soho art dealer may have sharpened his compositional skills and honed his lines and colors. But he went into that room with variations and traditions already alive in his mind: street, museum, and a lot in between. Donatello and Jacobo della Quercia are unthinkable except in terms of the incredible ferment and complex styles of late Gothic times. So the diverse street rhythms and latin color preferences and other infuences peculiar to the rich ethnicities of New York, as well as the advances of Pollock, de Kooning, Kline, Rothko, Gottlieb, and Warhol, fused in Basquiat’s magnifcent mind.

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The stamp of genius is recognizable even in in the embryonic works of his early years. An untitled composition dated 1980 that was published in New York Magazine documents his entrance into world art history with foriated color intact, vitalized body in outlines of Central African/Afro-American ecstasy, fngers, wide apart, held high above the head like fags of joy and spiritual attainment, like saying mmmhnnnnn and meaning yes at the highest levels. In fact, the letters m and n appear in this painting, dragon seeds of future armies of rhythmized citations of alphabetic script. In Dangerous Waters Poisonous Oasis (1981) Basquiat holds his incantatory fre while working his way through various modernist modes of handling paint, and the magical relation of paint to diagram, fgure to lettered forms, is shy and tentative. In this painting there are arrows,

fve A’s and an O, Alpha and Omega. Note that Alpha, freshness, origin, outnumbers Omega in a way that belies the apparent bleakness of the composition. Then, suddenly, in 1982–83, all hell breaks loose. In works like Charles the First (1982) color, fguration, and alphabetic writing are released in equal potency. The mnemonic and phonetic motors of the computer age, the keyboard instruments of instant retrieval, the letters, the signs, are used, as it were, as another kind of brushstroke. This recalls hip hop, the current New York musical revolution, at once funky and futuristic, in which certain rap recording studios have computer programmed the sounds of industrial noise. James Brown horn “hits,” and many other pulsations for instant playback on electronic “pianos.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring at the opening of Julian Schnabel, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1987. Image © Georg Hirose


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Basquiat is not afraid of the hi-tech wolf. He sees enormous fun and potency. He sees ways of rhythmizing phonetic writing, literary allusion, and chromatic structure, all at once. The trick is having the beat, the visual metronome sense, to keep these various tendencies going all at once. As if that were not enough, Jean-Michel, like Walter Benjamin before him, has the ability to work with “texts” that for most of us would not constitute texts at all. “The ancients may have been ‘reading’ the torn guts of animals, starry skies, dances, runes, and hieroglyphs, and Benjamin, in an age without magic, continues to ‘read’ things, cities, and social institutions as if they were sacred texts” (Peter Demetz, in his introduction to Walter Benjamin’s Refections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, New York, 1978, p.xxii).

the past twenty years, animals, newsprint, and African and Afro-American experience. Because he slaps palms with time, time slaps back afectionately. Something like Barnett Newman chromatic abstraction, shorn of ritzy glints and sectionings, provides a color-feld over which in Masonic Lodge (1983), Basquiat makes gold and white notations of eyes and jaws and cranial structure. Here, in a sense, he is painting his way through medical school and loving every minute of it. Frogmen, from the same year, unites incredible conceptual and stylistic jumps. We move from turquoise water flled with the outline of an octopus and a face, to a panel with Italian art police and a mask, to notation of deadly asbestos and a legend, “broken stones time,” which is thereupon incredibly visualized by notations that read like Neolithic attempts to copy the outlines of clocks on stones, “breaking” the regular outline of the familiar alarm-clock disk in a manner that is very likely the creolizing of modern form with styles borrowed from a very ancient source (I say this on the basis of testimony, from the artist himself, to which I shall refer in a moment). There is a submarine in turquoise waters, releasing crimson bubbles that stream upward like red pearls. There is also a cat’s head on a tower and a marvelously contrastive passage of warm browns and comicstrip white loaded with citations.

Unlike Benjamin’s reported situation, New York has magic: it is as near as the corner botanica: the Afro-Hispanic herbalistic stores that dot the city are flled with protective Yoruba beads, Kongo-derived twigs for spiritual medicine, and mystic sprays and oils. How strange that thus far, so far as I can see, no one has considered the mystic implications of Basquiat’s hair—“high tension wires” believed to place their wearer in touch with the Lord. It does not matter if critics and dealers ignore his hair. The fact remains that every time Basquiat so much as suggests a self-portrait (there are instances) his dreadlocks instantly creolize acrylic and crayon as surely as his mixing of star apples and Bordeaux creolizes the entertainment of his friends. There is a marvelous Self-Portrait as a Heel (1982) where the artist’s dreadlocks are cast in ironic juxtaposition with Ace combs. The combs bear plastic teeth, which however commodifed and copywrit, are inadequate to the spiritual turmoil of his hair.

That mirrors portions on the same phrase in Notary (1983) and then again, the clearest reading, in Chinese (1983):

Traditional black respect is an equation in which wellbeing equals salutation. Basquiat lives in a confuence of cultures (Haitian, Puerto Rican, Mainland Black) where it is considered odd, if not ominous, not to take time to greet one another energetically on the street. Basquiat shows, in his painting, analogous respect for art historical erudition, New York painting of

What is this phrase and why does it occur in three diferent paintings? I asked Basquiat. He astonished me by leading me to his source. Burchard Brentjes’s African Rock Art (New York, 1970). At page 88, we fnd an illustration of an image of St. George with a Greek caption. The


One of these citations includes an enigmatic phrase

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work, evidently to be dated late Roman/Early Christian era, is attributed to the Blemyans, nomads of the Eastern Desert of Africa. The Blemyans are amazingly relevant to a young black artist poised on the cutting edges of high, industrial, and neighborhood art and so clearly free-thinking that none of these worlds is enough to contain him. Brentjes writes that “among these tribes of Upper Egypt, waging constant frontier war against the Romans, old African traditions and Egyptian religious forms, Christian concepts and classical stylistic motives were mixed together.” This sounds like New York art, 1985. There is more: “They painted on the rocks Egyptian gods, the ox with the ancient Libyan decorated horns, inscriptions in Greek, horsemen with an attitude of St. George, Bedouin cameleers and old Arabian altars, all side by side. The grafti scratched on the rocks by the Blemyans all over Upper Egypt present a similar picture; they are badges of clans or tribes.” Much of this sounds like Jean-Michel, and we can well imagine why he was attracted to this passage in African rupestral art history with its accompanying sign and why he copied out that sign. But copied out is actually inaccurate phrasing. Transmuted out or anagrammatically juggled might be closer to the truth, however strained the phrasing. Basquiat is allergic to the obvious. He does not passively cite André Pierre or paper his collages with Taino petroglyphs simply because his blood unites Haiti with Puerto Rico. Instead he takes an intra-African visual creole. Blemyan. He takes its graftized Greek writing and then deepens the creole process by transforming it into Latin characters. Here is the Blemyan:

And here is what he does with it:

That there could be so much invention in microcosm prepares us for large-scale explorations of paint-language and printlanguage and diagram-language, coded for


deliberate creolized confusion. Basquiat seems to get his time and drive not from a dial with two arms and twelve numerals or from a square pulsing digital reminders, but from a kaleidoscope of various art histories and philosophies, flled with their fragments and shaken like a maraca to the beat of reggae, jazz, salsa, or blues.

A Galaxy of Recent Works The multilingual brilliance of Basquiat’s style, his personal creole, expands and contracts in recent works according to situation and inspiration. Faster than we can generalize he can shif into another mode while not seeming to shif at all. For instance, in Emblem he drops the use of repetition for intensifcation of motif and simply combines, in his own words, “a head, an elephant, and ‘Italian’ writing.” The writing and the elephant shoot through one another in a manner recalling that classic trait of African rock painting, nonexclusivity of the image, or vivid use of the palimpsest. Three languages in contact, African, Italic, and Afro-American, result in a gentle improvisation. Flexible is an iconic statement wherein a powerful fgure names his wonder-working propensities with a gesture of geometry. As Basquiat recalls, “The arms took a nice shape, they fused together in a single curve.” The X-ray vision of lungs and stomach imply dissection and arrest of motion which makes the shif to mystical fusion of the arms memorable and striking. Art, magic, and science combine from their diferent sources. They fuse again in Gold Griot, where vertebrae art medically examined, the power gesture, right hand up, lef hand down, calls on God and the horizon in a manner that has come down to the Black Americas from ancient Kongo on the body line, and the marvelous golden salts, transmuting bone and armature to currency, honor image with aura. The sign system shifs in Wicker, which according to the maker was painted at diferent times over a single week. Again, nonexclusively of the image, in the manner of African rock art,

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allows a camera to share space with an elephant. The menacing icon in the wicker basket is a bit of visual “signifying” against a woman who criticized the work in progress. She criticized the wicker basket and the emergent fronds, saying Basquiat had no business painting nature morte. He solved that problem. Floral arrangement gives way to incarnation of the spirit but, all the while, Basquiat reminds us that the original setting was his house, where the mask in the lower lef is actually to be found and where one uses the ”bell” and the “buzzer,” the telephone and the front door, as modern means of communication and relationship. There are other elements but Basquiat did not decode them, leaving the world to make what it will of bone and vertebrae set against brilliant orange. Basquiat lives in a seething world of plural images and he is attentive and responsive to what he sees. Contingency and surprise present Basquiat, sometimes, with a precipitate as potent as handbooks of art and models. During a conversation in February he told me this story: “I opened my door one morning last spring at about ten o’clock and there was a guy in a wheelchair, with the chair placed to get the maximum amount of sun. He tells me he’s a Cajun and behind him was his friend, snifng glue. He was begging money and giving it to his friend. I gave him what he wanted and he tried to draw me close to him in gratitude. But he was dirty and I refused. Later I felt bad about that. He clearly was a visitation and I had to deal with him in paint:…this is one of the few paintings where I am purely documentary.” Basquiat builds this remembered scene in a painting titled His Glue-Snifng Valet. By naming, and by physical gesture, he ennobles the trickster at the door and his associate. He builds an area of Rothko-like red which simultaneously puns on the sun of that unusual morning. Note that the companion is virtually idealized by the acrobatic perfection of his gesture. The Cajun himself by the acrobatic perfection of his gesture. The Cajun himself idealized by the acrobatic perfection of his gesture. The Cajun himself has amazing prong lips. Trickster before our door, however pitiful


or weak, conceals an accuracy of speech, measuring the level of our generosity. I conclude these remarks on Basquiat by considering a crystalline of painting of marvelous perfection. Gua-Gua (“Bus” in Afro-Caribbean Spanish), which in some respects reminds me of the Mbala vision of the village of heaven where everything is fash and movement and fne things. But heaven is also blood descent. Here we meet Basquiat’s maternal Puerto Rican grandmother, waiting under her parasol for a bus in Brooklyn. The bus appears, driven by a black man. It is green, “an older color, an institutional color from the ‘ffies, when buses were light green in Brooklyn.” Above, he pictures an elephant trumpeting against a space in red, to add a note of Africa but, also, because “it is my favorite animal to draw.” Under the bus appear SPIN, DRYING, AGITRATE, STRETCH, the play of one kind of mechanical motion (“these are washingmachine instructions”) in proximity to another. Perhaps because this painting is unusually charged with a language of afection Basquiat suddenly began to speak about the implications of the language of print in his painting. He calls these citations “facts.” This is what he said about them when we talked in January: “I get my facts from books, stuf on atomizers, the blues, ethyl alcohol, geese in Egyptian style. I get my background from studying books. I put what I like from them in my paintings. I don’t take credit for my facts. The facts exist without me. A menu in a restaurant is a painting. I may not eat the roast pig on the menu but its legend remains before me. The menu, the text, go on without me.” The word carbon is perhaps the most challenging “fact” of this painting. Thirty-two times at least it appears in this painting, and by this Basquiat asks a question: “I want to see how black they think this painting is.” Whatever our judgment, carbon, the “fact,” blackness, the Afro-Atlantic art tradition, goes on forever. New Haven 1985

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“Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star. I’d think about all my heroes, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix. . . I had a romantic feeling about how these people became famous.” Jean-Michel Basquiat


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“Royalty, heroism, and the streets.” The artist in response to “what’s your subject matter?”


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Sale Information Sale begins at 5pm

Auction & Viewing Location 450 Park Avenue New York 10022 Auction Thursday, 17 May 2018 Admission to this sale is by ticket only. Please call +1 212 940 1236 or email Viewing 4 – 16 May Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm Sunday 12pm – 6pm Sale Designation When sending in written bids or making enquiries please refer to this sale as NY010318 or 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Absentee and Telephone Bids tel +1 212 940 1228 fax +1 212 924 1749

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Content compiled by Roselyn Mathews. Front cover Jean-Michel Basquiat, Flexible, 1984, lot 5 (detail) © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018 Inside front cover Jean-Michel Basquiat, London, 1984. Image © Chalkie Davies/Getty Images Page 4 Jean-Michel Basquiat in Great Jones Street studio, New York, 1985. Image © Lizzie Himmel, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Pages 8–9 Market Street, Venice, CA, Larry Gagosian Residence, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s studio, 1982-1984. Image Fred Hofman Pages 12–13 Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gold Griot, 1984; Jean-Michel Basquiat, M, 1984; JeanMichel Basquiat, Grillo, 1984. Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ ARS, New York 2018 Pages 23, 37 & inside back cover Jean-Michel Basquiat in his studio, 1985 (present work shown). Image © Lizzie Himmel, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018 Page 39 Jean-Michel Basquiat at his Venice Beach studio, June, 1984. Image © 2018 Brad Branson Estate, Artwork © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS, New York 2018


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Tamila Kerimova

Head of Department +44 20 7318 4025

Senior Specialist Senior Specialist +44 20 7901 7931 +44 20 7901 7935

Senior Specialist +44 20 7318 4074

Senior Specialist +44 20 7318 4060

Head of Evening Sale +44 20 7318 4061

Head of Day Sale +44 20 7318 4065

Simon Tovey

Kate Bryan

Lisa Stevenson

Charlotte Gibbs

Head of New Now Sale +44 20 7318 4084

Specialist +44 20 7318 4050

Cataloguer +44 20 7318 4093

Cataloguer +44 20 7901 7993

Isaure de Viel Castel

Sandy Ma

Charlotte Raybaud

Danielle So

Head of Department, Asia +852 2318 2025 isauredevielcastel

Head of Evening Sale +852 2318 2025

Specialist +852 2318 2026

Cataloguer +852 2318 2027

Hong Kong.


25/04/18 10:10

International Specialists & Regional Directors. Americas.

Cândida SodrÊ

Carol Ehlers

Lauren Peterson

Melyora de Koning

Blake Koh

Regional Director, Consultant, Brazil +55 21 999 817 442

Regional Director, Specialist, Photographs, Chicago +1 773 230 9192

Regional Representative, Chicago +1 310 922 2841 lauren.peterson@

Senior Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Denver +1 917 657 7193

Regional Director, Los Angeles +1 323 383 3266

Kaeli Deane

Valentina Garcia

Cecilia Lafan

Maura Smith

Silvia Coxe Waltner

Head of Latin American Art, Los Angeles +1 212 940 1352

Specialist, Miami +1 917 583 4983

Regional Director, Consultant, Mexico +52 1 55 5413 9468

Regional Director, Palm Beach +1 508 642 2579

Regional Director, Seattle +1 206 604 6695

Laurence Calmels

Maria Cifuentes

Dr. Nathalie Monbaron

Dr. Alice Trier

Clarice Pecori Giraldi

Regional Director, France +33 686 408 515

Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, France +33 142 78 67 77

Regional Director, Geneva +41 22 317 81 83

Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Germany +49 173 25 111 69

Regional Director,Italy +39 02 86 42 453

Carolina Lanfranchi

Maura Marvao

Kalista Fenina

Julia Heinen

Senior International Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Italy +39 338 924 1720

International Specialist, Consultant, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Portugal +351 917 564 427

Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Moscow +7 905 741 15 15

Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Regional Director, Switzerland +41 79 694 3111

Kyoko Hattori

Jane Yoon

Sujeong Shin

Wenjia Zhang

Cindy Yen

Meiling Lee

Iori Endo

Regional Director, Japan +81 90 2245 6678

International Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Regional Director, Korea +82 10 7389 7714

Associate Regional Representative, Korea +82 10 7305 0797

Regional Director, Shanghai +86 13911651725

Senior Specialist, Watches & Jewellery, Taiwan +886 2 2758 5505

International Specialist, Taiwan +886 908 876 669

Regional Representative, Japan +44 20 7318 4039




25/04/18 10:10

Business Development. Americas.



Vivian Pfeifer

Guy Vesey

Lilly Chan

Deputy Chairman, Americas and Head of Business Development, Americas +1 212 940 1392

Head of Business Development & Marketing, Europe +44 20 7901 7934

Managing Director, Asia & Head of Business Developmenting, Asia +852 2318 2022

Client Advisory. New York.


Philae Knight

Yassaman Ali

Vera Antoshenkova

Giulia Campaner Mendes

Client Advisory Director +1 212 940 1313

Client Advisory Director +44 20 7318 4056

Client Advisory Manager +44 20 7901 7992

Associate Client Advisory Manager +44 20 7318 4058


25/04/18 10:10


25/04/18 10:15


25/04/18 11:38


25/04/18 11:38

Jean-Michel Basquiat 'Flexible', 1984  

Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening Sale, May 17 2018

Jean-Michel Basquiat 'Flexible', 1984  

Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art evening Sale, May 17 2018