Jean-Michel Basquiat's Apartment Is Back on the Market

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Apartment Is Back on the Market

Back in 1983, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat moved into an apartment and studio space in the Bowery in New York City rented to him from fellow downtown artist and friend Andy Warhol. For the next five years, Basquiat would go on to live and work out of the converted stable before he met an early death in 1988. Now, you too could have a chance to inhabit the same space that Basquiat once lived: His historic haunt is back on the market.

Nestled neatly at 57 Great Jones Street, the 6,600-square-foot property features an “open loft space with high ceilings and multiple skylights" as described by the listing put up by real estate agency Meridian Capitol Group. Dating back to the 1860s, the building has changed hands several times before and after Basquiat's short tenure, having once been rumored to be gangster Paul Kelly's headquarters in the early 1900s and more recently housed the exclusive Japanese restaurant Bohemian. (This means that, as an added bonus, the first floor comes stocked with a fully equipped kitchen with venting and gas hookups).

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation commemorated the site's significance back in 2016 with a plaque recognizing it as the artist's former home. “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,” the plaque reads.

The building has become a sort of shrine to the artist with many having adorned its façade throughout the years with spray-painted crowns and tagged-up tributes to Basquiat. There have been previous attempts to whitewash the walls, with neighbors having groused in the comments section of the East Village blog EV Grieve that it "would be nice if building owners made any effort to remove graffiti before leasing spaces, and the cops actually made any effort to prevent it in the first place."

Others more reverential of the building's cultural significance commented that those bemoaning the graffiti "will no doubt be happy to know that they followed your advice and all the original Basquiat graffiti and painting was scrubbed off by the corporate renters who went in after he died.” One commenter added that “if you want to live in a sterile looking neighborhood, of course there’s always Hudson Yards...”

Naturally, the property comes with a hefty New York rent of $51,000 a month plus an additional $9,000 in taxes, bringing the overall cost up to an even $60,000. Whoever does eventually take over the space will have a fairly steep bill to foot regardless of what they eventually intend to do with its exterior.

Photo via Getty/Patrick McMullan