In 1983, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat rented an apartment and studio space in New York City from pop artist Andy Warhol, his friend and mentor. Basquiat would go on to live and work at the property in the Bowery until his death in 1988. Now, art lovers have an opportunity to rent the storied three-floor building—that is, if they have $60,000 per month sitting around.
Located at 57 Great Jones Street, the property is up for rent by Meridian Capital Group. The real estate agency describes the top floor as an “open loft space”; the ground floor was most recently a Japanese restaurant called Bohemian.
Outside the building, a plaque from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation commemorates its late tenant: “Renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat lived and worked here, a former stable owned by friend and mentor Andy Warhol,” it reads. “Basquiat’s paintings and other work challenged established notions of high and low art, race and class, while forging a visionary language that defied characterization.”
Born in Brooklyn, Basquiat started his artistic career as half of the duo behind the street art pseudonym SAMO, and he remains one of the most beloved artists of the 1970s and ’80s. While he died at 27, he created about 600 paintings and 1,500 drawings over his short career. According to PBS’s “American Masters,” he sold his first ever painting to Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
The friendship between Basquiat and Warhol was somewhat short lived. While Basquiat admired the famous pop artist, he was afraid of being pulled into his mentor’s shadow. According to “American Masters,” when the two artists did a show together in 1985, a New York Times review described Basquiat as Warhol’s “mascot.” The friendship never recovered.
“I think Jean became very paranoid and suspicious of even Andy, and felt that, you know, Andy had this reputation of being a vampire and feeding off of younger artists, and needing new blood to infuse his own career,” artist Brett De Palma tells “American Masters.”
In the years since Basquiat’s death, his reputation has only grown. In 2017, one of his paintings sold for over $110 million at Sotheby’s, setting a new record for work by an American artist. To this day, fans still pepper the building and surrounding area with graffiti in Basquiat’s honor, sometimes to the chagrin of local residents, reports Dazed.
The building’s fascinating history starts long before Warhol bought it in 1970. Gangster Paul Kelly bought it in 1904 and founded the New Brighton Athletic Club, a headquarters for the Five Points Gang, which Al Capone would later join. The building was later used for metal works and kitchen supplies businesses until Warhol purchased it.