POBA Helps to Authenticate a Basquiat

“It was just a gift from an old friend,” ArtNews reported Kim Reeder as saying about the remarkable drawing she was given personally by Jean Michel Basquiat in 1984. This work had hung on her living room wall until late 2016, when serendipity put her on the path to POBA. Working as a make-up artist prepping guests on the PBS station, WNET, Kim Reeder met Jen Cohen, the Co-Managing Director of POBA before Cohen’s appearance on PBS’s Broad and High show. In chatting, Reeder mentioned she had this Basquiat work, but was unable to to authenticate Basquiat’s work after the Basquiat Family had closed the door on her request.

Reeder contacted POBA and was taken through a careful year-long process to document, assess the condition, and identify a skilled and accepted Basquiat authenticator to help her. POBA also assembled the documentation on Reeder’s acquisition of the work, evidence it had been in her custody since Basquiat gave it to her in 1984, and other steps to prove her provenance in this work.

POBA contacted Richard Polsky, renowned authenticator of Warhol, Haring and Basquiat works to review the evidence, apply other standards about style, method, materials and procedures used to create and frame the work and render his opinion on the authenticity of this work.

His opinion: No brainer, an unquestionably authentic Basquiat.

Reeder is now contemplating her options for this Basquiat, at a time when a Basquiat  work achieved the status of the highest-priced work ever sold by an American artist at auction, in 2017.