Jean-Michel Basquiat - Under the Influence New York Thursday, September 20, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist to the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Basquiat’s line never loses verve. That is saying a lot… His elegance– for frenzy can be harnessed without being broken– is urban, American, efficient, and formulaic in the best sense, a series of gestures beautifully executed, an idiomatic scat song of strokes and spirals and hatches and scratches. All burst into or upon spaces that are ready for them, spaces that can accommodate almost anything except hesitancy."

    R. Storr, “What Becomes a Legend Most?”, Basquiat, Riehen/Basel, 2010, p. xxxvii

  • Artist Biography

    Jean-Michel Basquiat

    American • 1960 - 1988

    One of the most famous American artists of all time, Jean-Michel Basquiat first gained notoriety as a subversive graffiti-artist and street poet in the late 1970s. Operating under the pseudonym SAMO, he emblazoned the abandoned walls of the city with his unique blend of enigmatic symbols, icons and aphorisms. A voracious autodidact, by 1980, at 22-years of age, Basquiat began to direct his extraordinary talent towards painting and drawing. His powerful works brilliantly captured the zeitgeist of the 1980s New York underground scene and catapulted Basquiat on a dizzying meteoric ascent to international stardom that would only be put to a halt by his untimely death in 1988.

    Basquiat's iconoclastic oeuvre revolves around the human figure. Exploiting the creative potential of free association and past experience, he created deeply personal, often autobiographical, images by drawing liberally from such disparate fields as urban street culture, music, poetry, Christian iconography, African-American and Aztec cultural histories and a broad range of art historical sources.

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Untitled (Two Heads)

graphite and oil pastel on paper
26 x 19 in. (66 x 48.3 cm)
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $68,500

Under the Influence

20 September 2012
New York