way cool! can’t wait to see this on display! m. [repost 03.28.13]
Before Jean-Michel Basquiat could afford studios and canvases, he painted all over his apartments — on walls, doors, refrigerators, and any other bare surface he could find. In 1979, the still unknown artist began transforming his girlfriend Alexis Adler’s East Village home into just such a living installation, covering one wall in a glyph-like mural that reads “Olive Oyl,” painting crowns and “Famous Negro Athletes” on a door, and the word “Milk” on a radiator. Although the couple broke up a year later, and Basquiat died in 1988, Adler, now an embryologist at New York University, bought the apartment they once shared and never painted over his work.
Obviously that turned out to be a wise decision — as was storing his notebooks, postcards, painted clothes, photographs, and drawings on yellow legal paper. Thirty years later, Adler has now begun to assemble a team of advisors to help sort through the material in preparation for a book on the collection and, in all likelihood, an exhibition and sale. “Part of the issue has been that I am a working biologist who has raised two kids on my own and have not had time or energy to deal with it,” Adler said. “Now is the time, however.”