Jean-Michel-Basquiat and Andy Warhol by Lizzie Himmel via Widewalls

Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Basquiat Collection

After a couple of lists on Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring Bearbrick figures, it was only natural to continue in that direction with the list of collaborations between those art legends. The collaboration between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the most legendary relationships in contemporary art history. Their unique work had deeply been a result of the particular moment when the two began their journey through the art world together.

Warhol and Basquiat by Jeannette Montgomery Barron via Widewalls

Warhol-Basquiat relationship

Although quite different when it comes to individuality and artistic expression aspirations, the two found a way to incorporate various levels of Pop art and Neo-Expressionism into something truly extraordinary and sought-after. Warhol and Basquiat’s turbulent friendship lasted for five years, in which the duo created numerous artworks. In Andy Warhol’s diary, he described his first meeting with young Jean-Michel Basquiat:

“Down to meet Bruno Bischofberger (cab $7.50). He brought Jean-Michel Basquiat with him. He’s the kid who used the name ‘Samo’ when he used to sit on the sidewalk in Greenwich Village and paint T-shirts…he was just one of those kids who drove me crazy…he’s black but some people say he’s Puerto Rican so I don’t know…And so had lunch for them and then I took a Polaroid and he went home and within two hours a painting was back, still wet, of him and me together.”

Andy Warhol

The duo was like two peas in a pod, Jean-Michel wanted to reach Andy’s fame, and on the other hand, Andy needed Jean-Michel’s energy. When we look at it now, we can definitely say the duo was writing the history of art at the time. Warhol would start by tracing a Pop Art symbol or a news headline onto a canvas using his overhead projector; then Basquiat would add a symbol, picture, or words to the painting in his Neo-Expressionist style.

Andy Warhol and Basquiat via Widewalls

Asked about it at the time, Basquiat remembered that he and Warhol worked “on a million paintings” – the official number is about 150 canvases. (Should we expect 150 Bearbrick figures? – James Bond would say ‘never say never again’ haha). Warhol “would put something very concrete or recognizable, like a newspaper headline or a product logo”, Basquiat recalled, “and then I would sort of defacing it”.

“I have done only two portraits: one of the artist Francesco Clemente and another of Andy Warhol.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat Bearbrick Figures

But now, let’s focus on those little devils in the form of bears. Medicom Toy has built a strong legacy predicated on legendary artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Held in high regard by toy collectors and art fans alike, the line-up quickly rose to prominence. With many notable releases behind them, the line is readying up a number of new offerings. So far, there are four bearbrick figures bearing the name of the Warhol-Basquiat collaboration. And here they are:

Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #1 1000%

1) Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #1 – The first collaboration between Medicom Toy and Warhol/Basquiat foundations resulted in one gorgeous figure entitled New Flame. It is based on the collaborative artwork from 1985, just two years prior to Andy Warhol’s passing. This painting comes from the prestigious collection of Tommy Hilfiger, synthesizes their individual approaches into a brilliant visual dialogue. Estimate £1,700,000–2,200,000. This Bearbrick is the first and finest example of when pop art crosses paths with neo-expressionism. Filled with Warhol’s quotidian symbols, which Basquiat transformed with his improvisational vernacular iconography, the New Flame bearbrick figure is simply marvelous.

Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #2

2) Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #2 – The second edition Bearbrick figure came to life in early 2021 and is wrapped in one unique painting made by these two legends. Developed in the mid-’80s, the piece named Dentures/Keep Frozen, 1985 by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, marked the middle of the vibrant friendship between the two artists. The painting was made from scratch using cardboard and placing both artists’ own imagery into a collage using their own techniques of Warhol’s silkscreen print and Basquiat’s acrylic paint.

Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #3 1000%

3) Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #3 – The third Bearbrick figure literally screams Warhol-Basquiat collaboration. In fact, the name of the painting is “Collaboration”. In 1984 and 1985, the two collaborated on a series of works that combine their distinctive styles in silkscreen and painting. This partnership of art titans was as prolific as it was innovative: their collaborations make up one-tenth of Basquiat’s total body of work.

Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #4 1000%

4) Bearbrick Andy Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat #4 – This fourth Bearbrick, born in 2022, is inspired by the masterpiece entitled “6.99” and created in 1985. The four-meter long canvas is one of many Andy Warhol Jean-Michel Basquiat collaborations. The structure of layering resulted in a back-and-forth process between the two artists which is clearly visible on this amazing artwork. Several parts of this monumental work were overpainted with sweeping brushstrokes of white paint in a way that the lower layer still shines through slightly. We only wish the price of this bearbrick is 6,99. But for now, well, it is what it is.

That’s all folks when it comes to the collaborations between Warhol and Basquiat in terms of Bearbrick figures. While we wait for the next big thing of Medicom Toy and Warhol/Basquiat estates, check our lists on all Karimoku Bearbrick figures and our Beginners guide to all Hajime Sorayama Bearbrick figures.

Photos: Widewalls