The mystery of this Basquiat painting - and its Tiffany blue

According to a spokesperson for Tiffany, this was no joke – and indeed, some seem to have taken it as a challenge: to the integrity of th...


According to a spokesperson for Tiffany, this was no joke – and indeed, some seem to have taken it as a challenge: to the integrity of the art and the artist. Basquiat is dead in 1988 at age 27, but in recent days all kinds of people with diverse relationships with him and his work have come up with their own theories about the original history of painting.

It all started with a man named Stephen Torton, who introduced himself as a former Basquiat assistant and released a Instagram statement saying, “I designed and built stretchers, painted backgrounds, drawings pasted on canvas, driven with a driver, traveled a lot, spoke freely on many subjects and worked endless hours side by side in silence. The idea that this blue background, which I mixed and applied was somehow related to Tiffany Blue is so absurd that at first I chose not to comment. But this very perverse appropriation of the artist’s inspiration is too much.

The controversy even attracted the first owner of the painting. Anne Dayton was Advertising Director for Artforum magazine when she went to an exhibition at the Fun Gallery on East 10th Street in 1982 and gallery owner Patti Astor showed her the painting, then called “Still Pi” , said Ms. Dayton recently. The New York Times. She bought it for $ 7,000 (she still has the bill of sale).

Tiffany never intervened in discussions about what was so exciting about the painting, she said.

“At no time was there a link between ‘Equal Pi’ and Tiffany’s blue box,” she wrote in an email. “It is even blasphemy to consider it. Basquiat’s raw, visceral and subversive power was the antithesis of the traditional classicism of the Tiffany standard.

Indeed, she wrote, as fashion and art were close at the time – Artforum’s February 1982 cover featured Issey Miyake – the designers who were part of the scene “were breaking all the rules. “including Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Kenzo and Gianni Versace. “Tiffany’s was as far away from the stage as possible,” Ms. Dayton noted.



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Newsrust - US Top News: The mystery of this Basquiat painting - and its Tiffany blue
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