Jean-Michel Basquiat, unwittingly sustainable

To manifest their respect for the environment, many artists today use recycled materials to make art. However, there are those artists who use recycled materials simply because they can’t afford to buy ex-novo. Take, for example, many Outsider artists.

And other artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, have such a drive to create that they will painting on anything and everything that comes their way.


Basquiat via

Basquiat is now known internationally and one of his paintings can sell for up to $35 million. However, this unique artist was once homeless and often slept in a cardboard box.

Then, around 1979, he met Alexis Adler, a 22 yr old woman from Seattle transplanted to NYC. Eventually Basquiat and Alexis began living together in a cheap apartment on East 12th St. There Basquiat painted every surface possible including a gold lamé coat Alexis had gotten from a thrift shop. The couple lived together for a year before splitting. Alexis continued to live in the Basquiat painted apartment but now, 35 years later, Alexis has decided to auction off her Basquiatian past.

Alexis Adler

Adler shows off the coat she bought, only to have Basquiat paint it that night.Photo: NY Post: Anne Wermiel


sweatshirt painted by Basquiat via   Photo: Christie’s

Alexis Adler’s collection

Alexis Adler’s collection at Christie’s

cassius clay jacket

Supreme and the Basquiat Estate collaborating on  two oxford shirts, a long sleeve tee, a few short sleeves, a hoodie, and a M-65 Cassius Clay jacket. via

Basquiat door

door painted by Basquiat via

Basquiat, clemente, Warhol

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and Andy Warhol (collaboration). Alba’s Breakfast, 1984 via

Related links: GHOST-HUNTING BASQUIAT IN HIS OLD EAST VILLAGE APARTMENT + Alexis Adler on Her Never-Before-Seen Basquiat Trove + Basquiat Reclining Nude + Jean-Michel Basquiat: 80 Percent Anger and 20 Percent Mystery + The short life of Jean-Michel Basquiat, graffiti artist turned gallery commodity + Jean Michel Basquiat Bio: Graffiti Artist Turned Sociopolitical Force + Basquiat: A Film by Julian Schnabel

About Art for Housewives

The Storyteller....
This entry was posted in Drawings & Paintings, Living With Less, People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jean-Michel Basquiat, unwittingly sustainable

  1. Oh, I love him. I’m going to look at all your links. My son paints on anything and everything — while in art school he couldn’t afford to buy materials. One of his teachers told him, “You don’t have to be so scrappy.” He said that yes, he did have to, and this gave him a kind of indignation that steered him toward purposely painting on found objects, boards, whatever, even if given a choice. Have you seen the Basquiat documentary called Radiant Child?

    P.S., this is Diane Stavros of, in case you couldn’t tell from my wordpress name. Thank you for your many kind pluses! I don’t really understand g+ – I hope you see my thank you messages there, though. xoxo

    • Ciao Diane! Can’t believe your son’s art teacher made just a tacky comment…he should study more art history and learn that many well known artists have used recycled materials. Take assemblage, for example, and Picasso.
      You have really evolved and your blog shows it. Congrats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s