This must be the most expensive posthumously issued limited edition print in the history of Contemporary Art! Pace Prints have just released a Jean-Michel Basquiat print authorised by the Basquiat estate which is taken from a well known series from 1983. The best known work from the group is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of Art in New York.
‘Hollywood Africans in front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars’ has been produced on quality paper in an edition of sixty prints priced at $50,000 each. The print/poster is stamped and signed by Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, the artist’s sisters and administrators of the Estate of Basquiat.”The last print to be authorised by the estate was in 2005. Prior to that, in 2001, eight prints were released under their authority.
The gallery describes the work as, “memorialises a time when all three artists were in Los Angeles during Basquiat’s second exhibition at the Larry Gagosian Gallery. The work, a commentary on the stereotyping and marginalising of African Americans in the entertainment industry, led them to coin the term and refer to themselves as the “Hollywood Africans.” Is this a true limited edition print? Is this a poster? Would you pay this kind of money for something that is not actually signed and numbered by the artist? As much as I love Basquiat’s work, I wouldn’t advise it!
Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 22, 1960. He began his career making street art composed of enigmatic writings on buildings and walls in downtown Manhattan in the late 1970s. His work quickly rose to the spotlight, and by the early 1980s he gained the attention and acclaim of galleries and museums internationally. In what is often classified as a neoexpressionist style, Basquiat drew on social and political themes like systematic racism, identity politics and commodity culture. The artist died at the age of 27 on August 12, 1988 in his studio on Great Jones Street in New York City. Major exhibitions include “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Paintings 1981–1984,” Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (1984; traveled to Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, through 1985); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (1987, 1989); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1993; traveled to Menil Collection, Houston; Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; and Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Alabama, through 1994); “Basquiat,” Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (2005; traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through 2006); and Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland (2010; traveled to Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris); and “Now is the Time” at the Art Gallery of Ontario (2015; traveled to the Guggenheim Bilbao in 2015).
Image: ‘Hollywood Africans in front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars’ © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Image: Courtesy of Pace Prints, New York.