Auction Features Basquiat’s “Charles the First”


In “A Basquiat Fit for a King and 4 Other Artworks,” artnet featured Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Charles the First” (1982/2004, Screenprint in colors on wove paper, 61 x 48 inches), which is among the works open for bidding now. Other artists featured were Oscar Murrillo, Ed Ruscha, David Salle, and Tom Wesselmann. Just posting this because I am a Basquiat fan and this fascinating print caught my eye. [If I had the $45,000-55,000 sitting around, I would probably send it to Hurricane Irma relief sites such as The Red Cross!]

Description: The late Jean-Michel Basquiat is undeniably on fire right now, and this edition is a great way to buy into the flaming-hot market of the acclaimed artist.

A print of one of the artist’s personal favorite artworks, Basquiat painted a semi-autobiographical line of text reading “Most young kings get thier [sic] head cut off” on the bottom of the canvas—a possible reference to his own famously self-destructive tendencies—while the artist’s signature crown motif emblazoned at the top and middle right plays into the work’s royal theme (and title).

Basquiat produced very few prints during his lifetime, and this artwork is part of a set of four prints produced posthumously by the artist’s estate in 2004, decades after his death. It wasn’t until 2015 and again in 2016 that the estate revisited the production of additional monumental screenprints, with the earlier releases proving more popular, and highly valuable as a result.

[Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Charles the First” (1982/2004). Photo: artnet auctions.]


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