Jean-Michel Basquiat - New Now New York Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Property from the Estate of Sam and Helga Feldman Sold to Benefit the Feldman Foundation


    The present work arrives at auction from the collection of the late Dallas-based collectors Sam and Helga Feldman to support the Feldman Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting various important charities. Committed arts patrons in the Dallas area, the Feldmans offered longstanding support to cultural initiatives in that city and elsewhere. From their early mentorship of then-emerging artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to later support of institutions and organizations including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Feldmans were tireless advocates for the arts and culture. Their philanthropic support continues today through the Feldman Foundation, which strives to support various important charities in Dallas and elsewhere.


    Helga and Sam Feldman held an unwavering love for art and a devotion to supporting artists. What began as a hobby acquiring unique sets of furniture and lithographs later evolved into a deep admiration for and fascination with contemporary art—particularly as the couple acquired Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Bushwick Avenue in 1984 and formed an intimate friendship with the artist as they extended to him their home, support, and time. Basquiat later gifted the couple a portrait of Sam Feldman, Sam F, executed in 1985.


    Sam Feldman and Jean-Michel Basquiat with Sam F, 1985. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York.

    The present works, acquired directly from the artist by the Feldmans in 1985, depict abstract contraptions that showcase Basquiat's vibrant imagination as well as domestic items whose simple placidity offer a striking contrast. Basquiat has inscribed one work "DALLAS," perhaps in homage to one of his stays in the city, while the other is inscribed "7523006"—formerly Andy Warhol's phone number.


    While the Feldmans were already active members of the Dallas cultural community, in 1985 they took on new roles as mentors and trusted supporters of a young and eager painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat. On the night of their first acquaintance at a bustling dinner party in Dallas, Helga Feldman recalled, Basquiat “[walked] straight towards [my husband and I] and out of the blue [told] Sam that he wanted to paint him.” Captivating the attention of every dinner guest, Basquiat found an old door in place of a canvas and borrowed tubes of oil paint from Helga Feldman’s painter’s kit; working ferociously, he constructed a vibrantly abstract yet deeply personal portrait of Sam Feldman, who suffered from muscular dystrophy. This work, Sam F, was generously donated to the Dallas Museum of Art by the late Feldmans in 2021, enshrining the their support of the artist in the city’s premier cultural center.


    The Feldmans served not only as supporters of Basquiat’s art, but also offered the young artist support and stability as he navigated the tumult and tribulations of his early career. Helga Feldman remembered Basquiat as a young man fighting to handle the burgeoning fame and increasing demand from collectors and galleries; the Feldmans stepped in to help guide the artist as he navigated the art market and later acted as important supporters of cultural endeavors in Dallas and elsewhere. As the Feldmans supported the young Basquiat, so too does the Feldman Foundation strive to support important charities through its philanthropic efforts today.

    • Description

      The seller intends to donate the sale proceeds to the charity designated in the heading. However, such designation does not provide any tax benefit to the purchaser of this lot.

    • Provenance

      Sam and Helga Feldman, Dallas (acquired directly from the artist in 1985)
      Thence by descent to the present owner

    • 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.

      View More Works

Property from the Estate of Sam and Helga Feldman sold to benefit the Feldman Foundation, supporting various important charities


Lot offered with No Reserve

Two works: Untitled

(i) inscribed "DALLAS" lower center
(ii) signed "JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT" upper center

(i) ink on paper
(ii) ink and graphite on paper

(i) 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (8.9 x 8.9 cm)
(ii) 3 1/8 x 3 in. (7.9 x 7.6 cm)

Executed in 1985.

Full Cataloguing

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $88,200

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig

Head of New Now Sale

212 940 1279

New Now

New York Auction 28 September 2021