In 1982, Basquiat fame and value rised. Some critics said that his work had lost some of his originality and his relationship with Annina Nosei, his first American dealer soured. Against her advice, and probably to express that he was free from the market, Basquiat held on November 4, the opening of his solo exhibition at the Fun Gallery where the paintings were severely under-priced. He exhibited the painting Charles the First, a tribute to Charlie Parker, that he kept in his private collection. His comment is based on his writings on the artwork “most young kings get their heads cut off”.
Rene Ricard, art critic, wrote in Art Forum “using one or two words (Basquiat) reveals a political acuity, gets the viewer going in the direction he wants (…) One or two words containing a full body. One or two words on a Jean-Michel contain the entire history of graffiti.”
Shenge Kapharaoah his assistant shared interests in African ideologies. He later declared “You can see our friendship in the work. The paintings speak for themselves ... Moses and the Egyptians, Charles the First, lines like 'most kings get their heads chopped off. ' This is what we were talking about”
Sources: Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art, Art Practical, 2014
Rene Ricard "The Radiant Child,” Artforum, December 1981
Widow Basquiat: A Love Story, Jennifer Clement
Jean Michel and Charlie, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)