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Tue 12 Feb 2013

Basquiat 'Burrough's triptych' in Sotheby auction

  • By mariamartens and 1 other
  • Last Update: 4 years ago
  • London, England, United Kingdom

A triptych by US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat goes up for auction. 

The painting, named the Five Fish Species but referred to as the Burrough's triptych, is valued by Sotheby between $4.25 million and $6.25 million. 

The particular piece is said to be a tribute to the artists' favourite writer William Burrough, a beats author who famously shot and killed his wife whilst aiming for a tumbler of water balanced on her head. Basquiat's triptych references this incident, for which Burrough spent a fortnight in jail and received a two-year suspended jail sentence. 

Basquiat himself led a turbulent lifestyle, leading to his death in 1988 from a heroin overdose. This particular painting, however, is from a good period in the young artist's career, once he had been commercially accepted into the New York art scene and was dating then rising-star Madonna. 

According to contemporary art specialist Alex Branczik, Basquiat "is recognized today in perhaps the same way he recognized Burrough's in the late 1980s as someone who was streets ahead of his time."

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