Description

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
    (Anti) Product Postcards (set of 10), circa 1980
    Postcard, ink, and color Xerox mounted on cardboard
    5-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches (14 x 10.8 cm) (each)
    Eight signed on the reverse

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist;
    Private collection, acquired directly from the above;
    Sotheby's New York, May 7, 1997, lot 195;
    Private collection.

    Jean-Michel Basquiat produced annotated and collaged postcards at an early stage in his career, selling them on the streets of lower New York. Although early in date, these postcards already attest to the artist's hybrid language of African-American culture, pop culture, and fine art.

    In the present works, Basquiat associates textual elements and photocopied images in a manner that is uniquely his own, described by the critic John Russell in 1984 as proceeding "by disjunction - that is, by making marks that seem quite unrelated but turn out to get on very well together".

    Although Basquiat's work is often described as Primitivist, these postcards demonstrate the artist's refusal to identify with this view. Expressions such as "stupid games" and "bad ideas" are combined with allusions to authenticity tropes-a personal identification card, a barcode, and playful photographs-and to money and value-"only $1," and "negative surplus data"-as if to suggest their instability.


    Condition Report*:

    These works remain in very good condition, with some very minor edge wear; all postcards are mounted to the cardboard. The piece is not framed.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2016
    2nd Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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