Christie’s to Offer $30 M. Basquiat Stretcher-Bar Painting during May Sale

With the May evening sales in New York fast approaching, Christie’s has announced that Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 work The Italian Version of Popeye Has no Pork in His Diet will be among the highlights of its 21st century evening sale.

The work, which is estimated to achieve around $30 million, is part of a series of works featuring tied-together wooden supports, onto which a canvas has been mounted. Nearly every inch of the 60-inch square canvas is peppered with figures, numbers, shapes, and crossed-out words. There are three of Basquiat’s distinctive crowns, as well as references to sports, comic books, and, in the form of a skullcap-less head and a severed foot, the human anatomy.

Related Articles

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02:  (Editor’s Note: Image has been digitally manipulated.)   Writer and producer Norman Lear visits The IMDb Show’s “Lounging With Legends” on April 2, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. This episode of

Christie’s to Sell the Collection of Famed ‘All in the Family’ Producer Norman Lear

Christie’s Partners with Fintech Lender Art Money for Interest Free Payment Plans

“This 1982 painting shows Basquiat at his absolute best—deftly mixing symbols, text and portraiture,” said Alex Rotter, Christie’s chairman of 20th and 21st century art. “The composition is frenzied and plentiful, drawing inspiration from so many of his iconic influences through history, sports and contemporary media. You could enjoy a lifetime untangling everything here.”

Both Sotheby’s and Phillips also have expensive Basquiats in their May sales, a testament to how strong the artist’s brand remains even in a market that is considerably weaker than in recent years.

At Sotheby’s, an untitled Basquiat-Warhol collaboration from 1984 that starred in the Fondation Louis Vuitton show last year is expected to sell for around $18 million.

At Phillips, Basquiat’s monumental 1982 picture Untitled (ELMAR) is expected to sell for between $40 million and $60 million. It is just one of three works that house will sell in May from the collection of the anthropologist Francesco Pellizzi. Philips will also sell the 1981 canvas Untitled (Portrait of a Famous Ballplayer), estimated at $6.5 million–$8.5 million, and, on May 31, in Hong Kong, Native Carrying Some Guns, Bibles, Amorites on Safari (1982), for an estimated $12 million–$18 million. Pellizzi bought all three works from Basquiat’s first dealer, Annina Nosei.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *