The next Art contemporary of Sotheby’s sale on March 8 in London will offer one of the most beautiful works of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled (One Eyed Man Gold Xerox Face), who shocked the art world in the 1980s.
Last November, on the occasion of the sale of the collection of David Bowie, “Air Power” Jean-Michel Basquiat flew to 7.1 million pounds, or twice its high estimate, after a battle between six bidders.
Alex Branczik, head of the Art Department at Sotheby’s contemporary explains: “The hero figures in Basquiat’s paintings refer to the stars of sporting, musical and artistic worlds who, thanks to their extraordinary talents, transcended their social status to become the nation’s icons.” “Painted with their arms held aloft and wearing a crown of thorns they also reflect Basquiat’s own dramatic ascent from street artist to gallery feel, and to his present status as one of the most valuable and talked about artists in the world.”
“I realized that I had not seen many works with black people” Basquiat
The male heroic Basquiat, always painted figures with both arms raised in the air and often shown with a halo or a Crown, are those of the first period, the most important, the artist. Often modeled on black athletes whose prowess has allowed them to exceed the racial boundaries of America in the middle of the 20th century, these figures have personal significance for the artist. Indeed, young man, black and raised in a family of middle class in Brooklyn, Basquiat easily felt the effects of racial segregation in the history of art: “I realized that I had not seen many works with black people” says the painter.
1982: Basquiat was already recognized by the art market
Dating back to 1982, Untitled (One Eyed Man Gold Xerox Face) is painted with the confidence and the conviction of an artist at the height of his career. This was precisely the period where, Prodigy of the pictorial elite, Basquiat became a dominant force in the art market. His breakthrough had begun with the work “New York / New Wave” display the previous year at the Centre of Contemporary Art. In 1982, its production was the subject of six exhibitions, solo and Basquiat became the youngest artist invited to exhibit alongside the most beautiful landscapes of Richter, Joseph Beuys, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.
With a bit of hindsight, the artist said that during this year 1982: I did my best paintings.
A beautiful modern Art sale
The sale will also include one of the most beautiful landscapes of Richter “Eisberg” (estimate: £8,000,000-12,000,000), a major work of Baselitz ‘Mit Roher flag’ (estimate: £6,500,000-8,500,000) and an oil on canvas of Jean Dubuffet “The man with the Butterfly” (estimate: £3,000,000-5,000,000) as well as a ‘Black Lace’ Calder mobile (estimate: £3,000,000-4,000,000).