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Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960–1988)
LOT ID: 78506
Charles the First, 1982

Screenprint, On Lenox Museum Board
54.5 х 39.8 in. (138.43 x 101.09 cm.)
Stamped, with the estate stamp on the verso, signed and dated by the executor Gerard Basquiat, numbered on the recto
Print/Casting Year 2005
Edition 73/85
Foundry/Publisher David De Sanctis, pub.
Lot description
This iconic work by Basquiat comes from his most productive period, and features many symbols that are found throughout his oeuvre. Charles the First was born in 1600 to James VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark. He worked hard to overcome physical disabilities though he suffered from a lifelong stammer. After rising to the throne in 1625, he was beheaded January 30, 1649 after being found guilty of high treason. Basquiat has scrawled on the bottom of the piece, “Most young kings get thier [sic] head cut off.” This is widely interpreted as an autobiographical reference by Basquiat, who was suffering from his own private demons.

Please note: there is a dent in the work, as pictured.

New-York based street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) gained immense popularity at a young age. While still in his early twenties, Basquiat began his career with political and poetical graffiti that lined the walls of New York City under the satirical signature SAMO (“same old shit”). Basquiat’s works, originally obscure graffiti and later Neo-expressionist works, are characterized by dichotomies. In his own life, Basquiat struggled with his mixed-race identity, as his mother was Puerto Rican and his father Haitian, and his works extended to include the relationships that exist between wealth and poverty, inner and outer experiences, and differing social classes. Jean-Michel Basquiat died an untimely death at the age of 28, but his impact has yet to be forgotten. His works are exhibited worldwide in major museum collections and notable galleries, including the Gagosian Gallery, London, England (2012); the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2011); and the Gagosian Gallery, Rome, Italy (2011).

Selected Public Collections:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The 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
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Charles the First by Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Charles the First by Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Charles the First by Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Charles the First by Jean-Michel Basquiat
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Charles the First
    color silkscreen
    (H 60.8, W 47.8) in.
    (154.5 x 121.5) cm.
    Ed. ed.85
    Sold for: US$23,473
    Saturday, June 9, 2012
    Ketterer Kunst München
    Lot 00243
  • After Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Charles the First
    color silkscreen
    (H 60.7, W 47.8) in.
    (154.2 x 121.3) cm.
    Ed. AP 12/15
    Sold for: US$21,805
    Wednesday, December 1, 2010
    Artcurial – Briest- Poulain - F.Tajan
    Lot 00278
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Charles the First
    silkscreen in colors on card
    (H 60.6, W 48.0) in.
    (154 x 122) cm.
    Ed. 71/85
    Sold for: US$18,776
    Tuesday, June 10, 2008
    Lot 00118
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Charles the First
    (H 61.0, W 48.0) in.
    (154.9 x 121.9) cm.
    Ed. ed.85
    Sold for: US$16,250
    Saturday, April 26, 2008
    Phillips de Pury & Company New York
    Lot 00040
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Untitled (Charles the first)
    (H 60.6, W 47.8) in.
    (154 x 121.5) cm.
    Ed. 51/85
    Sold for: US$18,835
    Wednesday, April 16, 2008
    Bonhams Knightsbridge
    Lot 00353
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