Michael Halsband - Photographs London Friday, May 19, 2023 | Phillips
  • “[Warhol and Basquiat] sort of put their hands in the gloves, didn't really lace them up right away, and they were just sort of feeling it out. . . And I knew that we had to get two single pictures for the poster, but really my agenda was like, I really got to get a great picture of the two of them together.”
    —Michael Halsband

    The genesis of this dual portrait began with an arranged meeting between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michael Basquiat in 1982. Introduced by Basquiat's dealer, Bruno Bischofberger, the pair became close friends and, eventually, artistic collaborators. From 1983 to 1985 Basquiat lived in a loft rented from Warhol where they produced several paintings together, their creative partnership culminating in a 1985 exhibition at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York.


    In advance of the exhibition, American photographer Michael Halsband (b.1956) sat next to Basquiat at a dinner hosted by Warhol. Of this encounter, Halsband remembers:


    Jean[-Michel Basquiat], turned to me and said,'I’ve been an admirer of your work for the past five years.’ He explained that he wanted to do this poster with Andy for the upcoming exhibition of work they had been collaborating on. I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to!’ He says to Andy, ‘Michael’s going to do the portrait of us. A boxing poster.’


    Although Robert Mapplethorpe had originally been Warhol's first choice, Basquiat was confident that Halsband was the right pick, and he was ultimately hired.


    The photograph offered here is the signature image from this session. It brilliantly memorialises the friendship and artistic collaboration of Warhol and Basquiat, and captures something of their playfully combative relationship. Halsband’s photograph is a remarkable double portrait of two of the 20th century’s most significant artists.

    • Provenance

      Directly from the artist

    • Exhibited

      Basquiat X Warhol, Painting Four Hands, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, 5 April - 28 August 2023, another

    • Literature

      Ménage à trois: Warhol, Basquiat, Clemente, Bielefeld: Kerber, 2012, p. 28
      J. Moore Saggese, Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art, Oakland: U. of California, 2021, p. 31 (variant)
      Basquiat X Warhol, Painting Four Hands, Paris: Fondation Louis Vuitton, 2023, p. 292



Andy Warhol + Jean-Michel Basquiat #143, New York City, July 10th, 1985

Gelatin silver print, printed 2011.
Image: 50.5 x 50.5 cm (19 7/8 x 19 7/8 in.)
Sheet: 76.2 x 61 cm (30 x 24 in.)

Signed, titled, dated, numbered 4/5, annotated and copyright notation in pencil on the verso.

One from a sold-out edition of 5 + 1 AP. This image is sold out in all sizes and editions.

Full Cataloguing

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £48,260

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London Auction 19 May 2023