Basquiat's 'Portrat of the Artist as a Young Derelict' To Lead Christie's New York Evening Sale

Christie’s has announced that Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict will lead its 21st Evening Sale at New York City’s Rockefeller Center in May.

The rare piece, which appears across three large panels, was crafted in the artist’s Crosby Street studio and included in his seminal show at Fun Gallery in 1982. The artwork incorporates each of Basquiat’s most-celebrated motifs, including the three-pointed crown, his anatomical works, bold lettering and evocative painterly expressions.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict has appeared in several Basquiat retrospectives across the world — most notably, at the Brooklyn Museum (2005-2006), Fondation Beyeler and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2010-2011) and Fondation Louis Vuitton (2018-2019). Christie’s Evening Sale will mark the first time that the artwork has appeared at auction.

“We are truly thrilled to offer Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict by Basquiat as a leading highlight of our 21st Century Evening Sale during this Spring’s Marquee Week,” said Ana Maria Celis, Head of Christie’s New York 21st Century Evening Sale, in a statement. “This is a rare work of self-portraiture, containing a rich multitude of references that touch upon all aspects of Basquiat’s life—ranging from his childhood to his meteoric rise to fame to ruminations of his own mortality. Its magnificent structure evokes the grandeur of altarpieces of the Northern Renaissance, with a highly unique picture support that classifies it among the most special within the artist’s oeuvre.”

The sale will also include an additional Basquiat piece, titled See Plate 3 (1982), which is worth an estimated $4 million USD to $6 million USD. The sculpture, which debuted alongside Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict, lived in Keith Haring’s collection until his death in 1990.

Take a look at both pieces in the gallery above.

Elsewhere in the art world, “Imagine Picasso” has made its U.S. debut in San Francisco.
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