You may have read the story about longtime East Village resident Alexis Adler, a one-time girlfriend of Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 1979, he "began transforming" her East Village apartment into "a living installation," including a wall mural featuring Olive Oyl. The two broke up the the following year, but Adler preserved his work.
With the help of several people, including Basquiat’s former assistant, Stephen Torton, Adler, a 57-year-old mother of two and an embryologist, is finally ready to put the work up for auction, the Post reports today.
"I couldn't hold onto everything, or leave it in a safe-deposit box," she said. "It’s not fair to Jean! It needs to get out into the world."
And about their relationship, from the article:
As Adler describes it, living together was less 'Barefoot in the Park' and more 'Desperately Seeking Susan'-meets-'The Odd Couple.'
They foraged for furniture off the streets and lived on eggs, grits and cereal. He gave her gifts of painted T-shirts; she brought home batteries to feed his cassette player.
All the while, he painted. Every flat surface was fair game.
"You'd get up in the morning and there was wet paint on the floor," she says. "From the brooms to the bathroom!" One day she came home with a gold lamé coat she bought in a thrift shop; by morning, he'd painted it pink, black and gray.
"I was a little upset," she concedes. But she got over it: That coat is one of the few things Basquiat made for her that she hasn’t put up for sale.
Basquiat's work will be on public display Saturday through March 28 at Christie's. Check it out here.
Previously on EV Grieve:
A treasure trove of Basquiat in this East Village home