Arts & Culture: An epic masterpiece by Jean-Michel Basquiat, the highlight of the season's major art auctions, is estimated to fetch up to $12 million stars in Christie's highly anticipated Post-War and Contemporary Art sale in New York on November 10. Brother Sausage (detail above), painted in 1983 and featured on the cover of Basquiat's catalogue raisonné, is a cartoon strip-like composition of six panels hinged together to form a narrative frieze of multiple drawings and Xeroxed overlays; each laden with themes of racial inequality and prejudice, wealth and corporate greed in a fame and consumer-obsessed American.
Christie's notes the work is "steeped in Basquiat's signature style, raw energy and ingenious, loaded layering," exemplifying Basquiat at the pinnacle of his career. Also included in the auction, which many will be watching closely to see how prices bear up, are two seminal paintings from Andy Warhol's pivotal Death and Disaster series, as well as important works by Donald Judd, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Warhol's Tunafish Disaster, painted in 1963, is estimated at $6 - $8 million, while Koons' Large Vase of Flowers from 1991 is expected to fetch $4 - $6 million. Comprised of 47 lots, the auction is expected to realize in the region of $65 - $95 million in total.
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