Nov 11, 2014 11:53 AM
Basquiat-tagged leather jacket going to auction
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) A leather jacket tagged by Jean-Michel Basquiat and other personalities of New York City's 1980s underground art scene is hitting the auction block.
The size 42 coat has a pre-sale estimate of $7,000 to $10,000 at Swann Auction Galleries' contemporary art sale on Wednesday.
The auction house said the supple white leather jacket is being sold by the original owner, Rico Espinet, the stage manager and lighting director of the legendary after-hours nightclub Danceteria from 1981 to 1986 who now owns an art and design store in Brooklyn.
He asked one of the elevator operators to use the jacket as a blank canvas for celebrity guests to sign. Her name was Joy and she is commemorated with "Joystick" scribbled in large black letters highlighted in blue on the jacket's verso. Its author is not known.
Basquiat's contribution includes schematic drawings and the words "breast" and "corset." Fashion designer and artist Stephen Sprouse inscribed "Serenity Prayer" in mirror image along the collar. Street artists Jep 2, Stash and Energy also left tags, all done in permanent black marker. The writers of some of the tags are not known.
Basquiat had his start on the streets of New York. His first public exhibition was in 1980. One of his paintings sold at auction last year for $23.7 million. He died in 1988 of a drug overdose at age 27.