Tag: al diaz

If you want to buy a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, get ready to pony up $100 million.

But, much to the chagrin of his friends, you can also get his work on scented candles, flip-flops, high-end bourbon and even a welcome mat. And those who were close to the artist, who died in 1988, are disgusted by what they view as diluting his legacy.

“I personally think Jean-Michel would be horrified,” Claudia Summers, a writer who was friends with Basquiat, told The Post. “[His sisters] are doing it out of greed. 

For all of that, which they view as a dilution of his art, some of Basquiat’s downtown crowd blame the late artist’s sisters, Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux.

The two oversee the estate of the artist, who palled around with Andy Warhol and reigned as a 1980s shining art-star.

“They say they want to make Jean available to everyone. But they are diluting the power of his art,” said Summers, who acted alongside Basquiat in the movie “Downtown 81.”

“I personally think Jean-Michel would be horrified,” said one friend of Basquiat (above).

Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment.

Basquiat is not the only artist to have his work commercialized — there are Francis Bacon cushions, Jackson Pollock socks and Keith Haring rugs, boxer briefs and much, much more. But Al Diaz, an old-school graffiti artist who collaborated with Basquiat on the infamous SAMO tag (it was an abbreviation of “same old s–t”), believes that the sisters have taken it further than most legacy guardians. 

“Other estates do not handle the merch so cavalierly,” Diaz told The Post. “The Basquiats have set the bar lower than anyone else.”

The artist’s works are now emblazoned on bottles of bourbon from Great Jones
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