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Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960–1988)
LOT ID: 70322
(Anti) Product Baseball Card (Check), ie. circa 1979

Mixed Media, Ink, and color xerox mounted on card stock
5.25 х 4.25 in. (13.34 x 10.8 cm.)
Signed, by the artist, "(ANTI) PRODUCT TM", "JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT", on verso.
Lot description
Early in his career, Jean-Michel Basquiat produced his ‘Anti-Product’ series of postcards, which he sold on the streets of New York City for $1 to $3 each. These cards were formed from Xerox prints of collages he created with paint, ink, found materials, and photographic portraits, which were mounted onto card stock and made to look like postcards. As is demonstrated in ‘Anti-Product Baseball Card (Check)’, Basquiat’s cards represented the initial stages in his stylistic development. Referencing his influences such as Andy Warhol’s Pop prints and Robert Rauschenberg’s appropriation collages, Basquiat wittily interjected himself amongst these Modern art masters by literally plastering his own image on the cards. Calling them ‘Anti-Product’ cards and passing them out to people in the art word, Basquiat found a way to advance his position and insert his alternative vision in the New York art scene.

These cards are extremely rare as most were given to friends and very few have survived. This card was given to a classmate of his at Studio as School in Brooklyn in 1979 - 1980 and has been kept in a box since then. It is in extremely good condition and shows the young Basquiat in a photo booth shot collaged over a folded or ripped check and splashed with a semblance of blood possibly alluding to "blood money" but certainly a comment on capitalism.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in 1960, gained popularity at a young age. Just entering his twenties, Basquiat became known for the political and poetical graffiti that began to appear on walls around New York City under the signature SAMO (“same old shit”). Basquiat’s mother was Puerto Rican and his father was Haitian and his struggle with his mixed-race identity is often reflected in his artwork through the themes of race and identity. The artist died tragically at the age of 28. The most successful of the 1980s-era Neo-expressionist artists, Basquiat’s work is in major museum collections around the world.

Selected Public Collections:

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseilles, France
Anti-Product Baseball Card (Check) by Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Anti-Product Baseball Card (Check) by Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Anti-Product Baseball Card (Check) by Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Anti-Product Baseball Card (Check) by Jean-Michel Basquiat
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