The painting displayed in his last solo exhibition before his death in 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Victor 25448 is expected to fetch over $10 million in Philips’ auction upcoming Contemporary Evening Sale.
The large-scale paper on canvas work features several graphics of signs found in Henry Dreyfuss’s 1972 Symbol Sourcebook, as per ARTnews. One of the more prominent visuals in the neo-expressionist composition is the word “IDEAL” that is painted in the center of the painting. Robert Manley, Phillips’ deputy chairman, states the text references Basquiat’s relationship with the art market and dealing his works of art. “All of Basquiat’s work, directly or indirectly, expresses his identity as a Black man in a predominantly white art world. Victor 25448 references the brutality that Black people suffer in many forms and is also a reflection of Basquiat himself.”
The painting has a pre-sale estimate between $8 million and $12 million. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will go to an initiative that seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the U.S.and supported by collector Agnes Gund, the Art for Justice Fund. The auction will take place on July 2.