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Frieze New York

Basquiat’s $20m work takes centre stage in Phillips sale

Critic and curators gather to pay tribute to late artist as 1984 painting comes to market for first time

Basquiat's Flexible (1984) Courtesy of phillips

“We were both 19 years young when Basquiat and I met through [the rapper and artist] Fab 5 Freddy,” says the graffiti artist Lee Quinones. “I was an introvert who smiled a lot out of nerves, whereas Jean was an introvert who out-poured with islands of resilient commentary.” Quinones, along with the poet and critic Christian Campbell and the curators LeRonn Brooks and Ashley James, are due to discuss Jean-Michel Basquiat’s influence at Phillips on Friday, following the unveiling of Flexible (1984), a highlight of the auction house’s evening sale on 17 May. Painted on a 10ft-tall slatted wood support, the work, which was bought by the seller from the artist and is coming to market for the first time, has an estimate in excess of $20m

Appeared in Fair Dailies, Frieze New York 2018