Don’t Have $41.8 Million for a Basquiat Painting? How About $260 for a Basquiat Barbie Doll?

From Barbie to Yves Saint Laurent, brands are licensing the artist's imagery like never before. Here's our pick of the latest merch.

James Van der Zee, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982). Photo ©James Van der Zee Archive, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
James Van der Zee, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982). Photo ©James Van der Zee Archive, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, the late enfant terrible of the art world, who jumped from street art to the white cube, left behind an enormous legacy since he died at age 27 in 1988.

And that legacy has thousands of products.

That’s where Artestar, the megawatt creative agency that licenses Basquiat imagery to brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Zara, comes in.

Right now, you could be sitting in a Modernica chair wearing a Uniqlo T-shirt, Doc Martens boots, and draped with a Coach handbag, all branded in signature Basquiat images. And you would have Artestar to thank.

“Our strategy is to make Jean-Michel’s art accessible through licensing,” Lisane Basquiat, the artist’s sister, told Artnet News. “If a person can’t afford to purchase a painting, they can still purchase something, some physical thing that gives them the ability to have access to Jean-Michel’s artwork.”

So what else can you get if you’re too poor to pay $41.8 million for a painting?

We rounded up some Basquiat-themed merch, from a $16.99 tote bag to a $6,000 skimboard. Not bad for a brand that got its start with Basquiat tagging SAMO on East Side buildings… .

A "Barbie X Jean Michel Basquiat" doll on display in Paris, France. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

A “Barbie X Jean Michel Basquiat” doll on display in Paris, France. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Brand: Barbie

Merch: A Jean-Michel Basquiat-themed Barbie doll

Cost: $260 (up from $90 in May)

 

 

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Brand: Modernica

Merch: Branded Basquiat Side Shell chairs

Cost: $650

 

 

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Brand: Medicom Toy

Merch: Collectible toy

Cost: Starting at $120

 

 

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A post shared by UNIQLO Singapore (@uniqlosg)

Brand: Uniqlo

Merch: The Basquiat UT t-shirt

Cost: $19.90

 

 

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Brand: Loqi

Merch:  Jean-Michel Basquiat Dos Cabezas Bag

Cost: $16.99

 

 

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A post shared by SAINT LAURENT (@ysl)

Brand: Yves Saint Laurent Rive Droite

Merch: A Jean-Michel Basquiat-themed skimboard

Cost: $6,100

 

 

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A post shared by Coach (@coach)

Brand: Coach

Merch: The Jean-Michel Basquiat Rogue 25 bag

Cost: $795


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