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Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988)

Paintings

Biography:

How much are original Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings worth?

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings are worth a large amount, due to Basquiat’s standing in the art community, coupled with his relatively short time of artistic output. Basquiat’s paintings often sell for millions (sometimes a hundred of millions) of dollars on the high end, though things like a screen-printed skateboard can be had for a few hundred dollars. There is a wide range in between for any number of Basquiat pieces. The most ever paid for a Basquiat painting is $110,487,500 for the piece Untitled (Estimate Upon Request) (1982) on May 18th, 2017. 

Who was Jean-Michel Basquiat? 

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an urban artist, a street artist, and a gallery painter whose work helped to break the boundary between street art and gallery art. He was extremely prolific in his time as an artist, creating hundreds of beautiful works that have continued to resonate with an extremely diverse audience. Although his career lasted barely a decade, Jean-Michel Basquiat continues to have lasting relevance as a bridge between graffiti and the gallery—transforming street art into fine art and giving a voice to subsequent generations of artists who may have never found their platform otherwise. 

How did Jean-Michel Basquiat get started?

By fifteen, Jean-Michel Basquiat had been uprooted from his Brooklyn home to live in Puerto Rico with his father and sisters, because his mother was committed to a mental institution. He later returned to New York where he attended City as School, a progressive school in Manhattan. Basquiat finally left home for good in 1978 and spent the next couple years living with friends, supporting himself by selling his original, punk-inspired postcards and t-shirts on the street. One time he even approached Andy Warhol in a restaurant and made a sale, although the two would not become friends until years later.

He participated in his first multi-artist exhibition in 1980, and his breakthrough career as a solo artist took off shortly thereafter. Basquiat and Warhol finally reunited in 1983 and spent the following two years on a series of collaborative works that featured multi-panel paintings and large canvases with exposed stretcher bars and blended Warhol’s stylized logos and pop culture motifs with Basquiat’s almost childlike designs of encrypted text and imagery. Despite mediocre critic reviews, both artists continued to enjoy their prestige as two of New York’s most celebrated cultural icons.

What was Jean-Michel Basquiat famous for?

Jean-Michael Basquiat is known for his graffiti paintings, originally done under the pseudonym SAMO. He became friends with Andy Warhol sometime in the late 1970s and through his help, became one of the greatest pop artists of the 1980s. Basquiat’s work felt much like his personal life -- tortured, emotive, and brilliant. Basquiat was only really active in the art community for about a decade, but during that time created some of the most important art of the century -- breaking down barriers for artists of color as well as street artists that had previously existed in the rigid art community. 

What kind of art did Jean-Michel Basquiat make?

Jean-Michel Basquiat made graffiti paintings and urban art in New York City. His first art appeared on subway cars sometime in the 1970s, which Basquiat (and his artistic collaborator Al Diaz) used as their canvas. He is known for his use of three overlapping styles, mixing skeletal figures with large swaths of paint and color. This is how the majority of his early 1980s work tends to skew, later in the decade Basquiat would experiment with form and color, but his untimely death (apart from being a supreme personal tragedy) stopped what would have been an interesting and innovative aesthetic development. 

Buy Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings for sale

Bid or buy Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings for sale below. At Heritage Auctions, you can bid online about a month prior to the auction date, and during live auctions, you can bid online, in person or over the phone. You can even make an offer to the owner who previously purchased a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting. Watch for new paintings from Jean-Michel Basquiat by saving a want list so you’ll be notified of any new works for sale.

Why buy original Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings from Heritage Auctions? 

Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easy to help expand your art collection.

How to lookup Jean-Michel Basquiat’s original painting values

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. At Heritage Auctions our final selling prices remain visible for all to see, including any buyer’s premiums paid. View Jean-Michel Basquiat’s past sale prices below. 

Where to get an appraisal for Jean-Michel Basquiat?

The first step in any art valuation is authentication. If you are unsure of the authenticity of the artwork, then Heritage Auctions art experts can help. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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Jean-Michel Basquiat Original Art values sold at auction

Note: Amounts include buyer's premium.
* Although your bid is currently losing, your Bid Protection on this lot is still in effect, and it will be placed during the live auction. You can view/edit your Bid Protection in Heritage Live during the auction event.

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