I decided to take this opportunity to explore more of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. Rather than searching for his work in various museum databases, I searched for his name to see what databases includes some of his works and came across the online database, “artnet.com” and was surprised to see they have quite a bit of his works cataloged with great descriptions. Before I get into the discuss question/post prompt, I will talk briefly about Jean-Michel Basquiat just in case you are not familiar with him. Basquiat was an African American street and graffiti artist who rose to prominence during the 1980’s. Born in 1960 he died in 1988 from a drug overdose. Before becoming famous, he was homeless and often tagged or spray painted his art on walls all throughout a lower-Manhattan neighborhood which soon became known as SoHo (South of Houston Street) a central place in the city for fine art. Basquiat’s works involved a great deal text and images of crowns that evoked his Haitian and Puerto Rican ancestries. He was also a contemporary, friend and collaborator of Andy Warhol. 

For this post, I have chosen his 1986 art piece, Portrait of a Collector. 

Artist:                  Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960–1988)

Title:          Portrait of a Collector, 1986

Medium:    Works on paper, Marker on offset lithograph

Edition:      UNIQUE

Size:           100 x 75 cm. (39.4 x 29.5 in.)

Size Notes: Framed dimensions: 50″ x 35″ or 127 x 89 cm

Price:          Price on Request

Movement:         Contemporary Art

Description:        Hand-signed, and dated “Basquiat 86” in marker, lower right on recto Foundry/Publisher Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark.

“Ironically, given his obsession with anatomy, Basquiat deconstructed himself. Perhaps his trademark erasures were his most heartfelt artistic gesture…..”© 1998 Phoebe Hoban 

This rare color offset lithograph features an original drawing done by Basquiat himself, on the entire bottom of quarter of the paper ~ 10 inches high by 30 inches wide. The drawing could be seen as further commentary on the 1986 exhibition title. It was sent by Basquiat to his friend the Swedish art dealer Jan Erik Löwenadler in 1986. Basquiat’s use of text (words, letters, text boxes) was a crucial element in his work and functioned as key compositional elements in his paintings. Basquiat often referred to his text as “brushstrokes,” indicating that he considered language to be vital on a formal level as well as conceptual.

My question is have you ever found an artifact or artwork for sale in an online database and purchased it? I’m curious because I am currently curating another art exhibit and want to know will posting the works in a database increases the sales of the artists’ works I’m representing. Basically, from a consumer’s perspective, would you or have you bought art from relatively unknown artists online?

Now here’s my selection from home created by my wife:

Artist:                  Juanita Magnetek (American, 1976–)

Title:          Prelude to a Thought of You (2023)

Medium:    Works on paper, Ink and Marker

Edition:      UNIQUE

Size:           45.7 x 61 cm. (18 x 24 in.)

Size Notes: Framed dimensions: 50″ x 35″ or 127 x 89 cm

Price:          Priceless

Movement:         Contemporary Art

Description: Hand drawing, an undated yet created Fall 2022. In ink and marker. Unpublished. Currently on display on guest bedroom bed amongst an assortment of unfolded clothes.

Artists Statement: “Oh my God, Babe. I haven’t ever thought about that maybe you should choose something else because I’m not going to be very helpful right now.”

This rare, one-of-a-kind ink drawing by Juanita Magnetek is a composite of the beauty found in objects, animals and her blindfolded wife. The strong contrast of dark and light suggest dimensions, depth, and perceptions the artist embodies on paper to express her appreciation for gems, hearts, ravens, flowers, a side profile illustration of her blindfolded wife and the handcuffs symbolize the artist’s unbreakable connections to all the elements employed in this work of art.

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