Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Portrait of Pablo Picasso Set to Be Offered at an Auction

The works of late American neo-expressionism artist Jean-Michel Basquiat have become quite popular among art collectors in recent decades due to the unique style, intriguing themes, and scarcity of his art. This is why it’s always big news when one of his pieces gets offered at an auction.

Earlier in June, British auction house Christie’s announced that it would offer one of Basquiat’s most-intriguing works at an upcoming auction. It is a portrait of legendary painter Pablo Picasso, which Basquiat painted in 1984 as a 23-year-old.

Basquiat never shied away from admitting that Picasso had a big influence on him as an artist. In one of his interviews, Basquiat revealed that seeing Picasso’s Guernica was his “favorite thing when I was a kid,” while curator Diego Cortez once called him “Black Picasso.”

According to Christie’s, Basquiat likely painted his portrait of Picasso by combining two different visual sources. One was a portrait of fifteen-year-old Picasso from the late 19th century, while the other was his photograph in a now-iconic Breton shirt.

Untitled (Pablo Picasso, 1984) was done on a square metal panel with oil, acrylic, and oil stick. It was the last time offered at an auction in 2007 when the current owner acquired it. The new offering will be in late June when the painting is expected to reach a sale price between $5.7 million and $7.6 million.