One Last Protest at 5 Pointz
BSA Newsletter this Week

Alexis Adler Sells Her Personal Basquiat Collection

Alexis AdlerAlexis Adler, once girlfriend of the artist Basquiat, has an extremely unique collection of his work. As reported by the NY Post, even her bathroom door had his art on it.

Before he shot into art-world superstardom and (briefly) Madonna’s arms, the then-18-year-old covered the walls, furniture and floors of their East Village apartment with his trademark symbols, scribbles and scrawls. In time, his works — on canvas — would sell for amazing sums; last year, Christie’s sold one of his paintings, “Dustheads,” for $48.8 million. He was at the height of his powers when he died in 1988 — a victim, says Adler, of heroin and overpowering pressure. He was 27 years old.

Adler, meanwhile, married, had two children and divorced without ever leaving the railroad flat that she and Basquiat shared from 1979 to 1980. Nor did she erase anything he’d left behind — the “Olive Oyl” he painted on the living-room wall, the “Famous Negro Athletes” he inked on a door.

Now, nearly 35 years after they parted, Adler’s putting almost all of it on the auction block — lock, stock and door. “It became a burden,” she says of the 40-odd pieces that Christie’s is billing as “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Works from the Collection of Alexis Adler,” a monthlong exhibit and auction through March 26 at Christies in NYC. “I couldn’t hold onto everything, or leave it in a safe-deposit box. It’s not fair to Jean! It needs to get out into the world.”

Basquiat’s work will be on public display Saturday through March 28 at Christie’s, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Sixth Ave., 20th floor. See it before it closes.


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