Property from a distinguished private collection - VERSUS MEDICI

  1. Home
  2. >
  3. Expositions Sotheby’s
  4. >
  5. Property from a distinguished private collection - VERSUS MEDICI
Property from a distinguished private collection - VERSUS MEDICI

Sotheby's

Jean-Michel Basquiat's work Versus Medici is highlighted in the New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale this May.

A large number of sublime works, which depict Basquiat's art

These famous works, created in 1982, will be featured in the New York contemporary art auction on 12 May 2021. The auction is estimated to sell for between $35 million and $50 million. Versus Medici is a visual staple of contemporary art that has remained in private collection since 1990. Basquiat defines himself as the direct heir of the Italian Renaissance masters, and this is reflected in his work.

The auction is also completed by the Medici Wedding tapestry of 1589, which provides a visual language similar to that of the Versus Medici artist.

The artist is familiar with art history and makes multiple allusions to the political and religious power associated with his works. The work Versus Medici is a symbol of the artist himself positioning himself as the successor of the artistic genius. In fact, he uses this favourable position to establish a new visual language, which is now referenced. After visiting several museums in New York for a long time, Basquiat realises deeply the visible absence of black representation in contemporary art. Thus, the artist questions this absence by opposing head-on the influence of European history and the dynasty of patrons. His Haitian and Puerto Rican origins lead him to this project of showing these oppressed populations.

A long term work to glorify the "excluded from art"

The objective of his work is to question the universal canon through painting. The work Versus Medici is therefore a symbol of a figure of courage and heroism in order to better oppose the system. His work is deeply concerned with showing all the arts, showing that any subject is interesting for art. The artist recognises that for years, each of the art movements has been confronted with a system of exclusion. As a result, he creates a portrait of an avenging hero from the history of art portrayed by Basquiat. In conclusion, Basquiat's works in the Versus Medici collection are a true representation of his way of thinking. His aim is to form an inclusive art, which deals with all the subjects that were not addressed in the art of his time.

To learn more about the auction sale, click here.