Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat left behind a secret trove of unseen work in his former girlfriend’s East Village apartment before he died tragically in 1988, she claims.
The provocative New York painter […] made murals on Alexis Adler’s apartment walls and doors in the 1970s, she claims.
She now plans to feature it in a book compete with his photos, sketches and notes he left behind.
“I just want do right by him. I still feel very close to him — I’m surrounded by his work every day,” Adler, 57, told The Post.
She said the world deserves to see his art, which includes a radiator marked with the word “milk,” a door painting called “Famous Negro Athletes” and featuring the words “Olive Oyl.” Adler says she now owns the apartment at East 12th Street and Avenue B and hasn’t painted over the art.
“Adler has enlisted Basquiat’s former assistant, Stephen Torton, to represent her in future sales, and she already has interest from filmmaker Sara Driver and art critic Luc Sante, a college friend of Adler’s who’s a good candidate to write an essay for the upcoming book,” ArtInfo reports, “and former Gracie Mansion gallery director Sur Rodney Sur has catalogued the 65 or so items in the collection.”
“The thing that’s most interesting is the material she has to support the actual artwork,” Sur told ArtInfo. That includes the script of a play he wrote and 50 rolls of 35mm film of his daily life and work. “When he was partnered with Alexis they were just a couple; no one then knew that Basquiat would become what he became. That’s why this work is so important …. These were very important explorative times for him, although his signature style was already formed.”
Adler has plans to sell some of the artworks; with a book deal, those of us who can’t afford to be collectors could see a rare side of Basquiat, too.