To Repel Ghosts: Jean-Michel Basquiat's Self Portrait from the Collection of Matt Dike


Manage episode 232590104 series 1021302
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In this podcast made in collaboration with Phillips, Scott Nussbaum, head of 20th Century and Contemporary Art at Phillips, New York and Fred Hoffman, curator of a seminal Basquiat retrospective and author of The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, talk about Matt Dike's relationship to the artist, their work together in Los Angeles in the 1980s, their friendship around music and the gifts of art Basquiat made to Dike. Chief among those gifts was the self portrait painted on two doors and a panel that will be sold during Phillips May 16th Evening sale in New York. Moved directly from Basquiat's studio to Dike's home, the work is a rare example of Basquiat's art never to have been sold before, as Fred Hoffman explains in his catalogue essay for Phillips: "As one of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s most compelling depictions of himself, Self Portrait, 1983 presents a metaphysical subject on two related panels. The full-length representation of the artist is juxtaposed with an adjacent panel portraying both his personal incantation, “To Repel Ghosts”, and his characterization of the passage from the material to the eternal. Self Portrait is unique, having been executed on two found doors, one which also includes an attached plywood panel. This singular painting was executed in Venice, California sometime in 1983 at New City Editions, the print studio where Basquiat produced his now acclaimed silkscreen works, Tuxedo, 1983, Untitled, 1983 and Back of the Neck, 1983. The creation of this painting is recorded in filmmaker Tamra Davis’ acclaimed documentary, The Radiant Child, possibly the only extant film documentation of Basquiat working on a painting. As conveyed to the author by Tamra Davis, after having completed the work, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tamra Davis moved the work to the studio of Matt Dike in West Hollywood. The work is also documented in Tamra Davis’ 1988 promotional video for Matt Dike’s record label Delicious Vinyl, in which Matt Dike and his business partner Mike Ross are filmed sitting on a couch with Self Portrait in the background."

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