Jean-Michel Basquiat has been attracting 3,000 visitors a day to his mega-blockbuster exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City. Now the graffiti art star from the 1980s is the subject of yet another tantalizing story, this time one that involves an ex-girlfriend, a treasure trove of unseen works and a possible book deal.
According to ARTINFO, Basquiat's former fling, a biologist by the name of Alexis Adler, has enlisted a team of art critics and assistants to help her catalogue a collection of unseen works previously housed in her NYC apartment. Including wall murals, piles of notebooks, painted clothing and postcards, the various Basquiat pieces represent his early years as an unknown artist, created back when the duo dated in 1979 and 1980. This was well before SAMO earned the admiration of dealers like Larry Gagosian, opting to substitute radiators and doors for the canvases the artist couldn't afford.
Thirty years later, Adler has plans of organizing a sale, an exhibition and even a book, showcasing these never-before-seen works to the public, reports the New York Post. No plans have been solidified yet, but, as the LA Times pointed out, the prospect of a book deal gives hope to the art world laypeople (read: people who don't have $26.4 million to spend at auction) that we too can feast our eyes on this rare Basquiat collection.
“The thing that’s most interesting is the material she has to support the actual artwork,” former Gracie Mansion gallery director Sur Rodney Sur, who is now helping sort through the Basquiat collection, told ARTINFO. “A lot of the signage he used in his work over and over again, this was when he was developing it. The idea that it’s all together in one place makes it even more important.”
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