Controversial Basquiat Artworks Go on Display at Art Basel 2018
Made for a drug dealer named Neptune, King of the C.
A series of 16 drawings and paintings made by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, from 1971 to 1981, are currently on view at Bishop gallery’s booth at Art Basel 2018 in Switzerland. Included in the selection of works is a number of controversial pencil-and-crayon sketches that the legendary street artist created in the apartment of a close friend and drug dealer named Lonny Lichtenberg aka Neptune, King of the C (cocaine). Prices for the works range approximately between $45,000 USD and $120,000 USD.
Al Diaz, the curator of the exhibition and former member of Basquiat’s Samo coterie, expressed to The Art Newspaper that the works haven’t been authenticated. “[Diaz] believes the estate does not want to flood the market with more pieces,” said the publication. More importantly, the “works of art were often exchanged by artists for drugs,” Diaz added. “[The estate] is averse to anything drug-related.”
View one of the sketches above and head over to Bishop gallery’s official website to learn more.