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Artist Spotlight: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Basquiat – a name forever associated with art, graffiti, and New York City. New York Loan Company makes collateral based loans on high-end contemporary and modern art, and Jean-Michel Basquiat is perhaps the most well-known American neoexpressionist artist that the luxury pawn shop has loaned against.
“I get really excited when we have a Basquiat print, drawing or even painting come into our office,” said Jordan Tabach-Bank, owner of New York Loan Company.  “I am personally an enormous fan of his work and we can loan aggressively since I believe his market has yet to peak.  No other pawn shop that I know of has the expertise to loan against such collateral.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1960, he started his art career at an early age by creating graffiti under the name SAMO in Manhattan. These became so popular that he started selling sweatshirts and postcards with his art prominently displayed. At this time he was also performing with his band all over the country and appearing on TV.
In the early 1980s he started receiving critical acclaim after showing his art in group shows and in 1981 Renè Ricard, art critic and commentator, published “The Radiant Child” on Artform magazine, which quickly grabbed the attention of the art world. Soon after Basquiat began showing his art all around the world and started selling his unique pieces for upwards of five figures.
The fast and immense popularity of Basquiat was due to his unique style influenced by street-life, multiculturalism, punk, and hip-hop. His more traditional inspirations came from Grey’s Anatomy, Leonardo de Vinci and Henry Dreyfuss’ Symbol Sourcebook. Basquiat had an extensive list of friends and collaborators that include Any Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Bowie, Keith Haring, and Glenn O’Brian. He was most prolific with Andy Warhol between 1984 and 1985 – this was the main period of collaborations between the two friends.
Basquiat tragically died at the young age of 27 in 1988 in New York City. Since then, his popularity has only increased and his art now commands staggering prices at auctions, whether Phillips or Sotheby’s. In 1998 his highest price for a piece was 3.3 million dollars from Christies Auction House – in 2013 his piece Dunderheads sold for a staggering 48.8 million, again at Christies Auction House.
When looking to sell or pawn one-of-a-kind artwork, please contact New York Loan at art@newyorkloan.com or by calling 212-997-5626.  New York Loan Company also specializes in large confidential collateral loans against gold jewelry, diamonds, watches and one of a kind memorabilia.