Swatch launches today a new capsule collection within the scope of Art Journey 2023, which this time pays homage to the New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, a journey started in March this year in Lisbon by the Swiss watch brand which we had the opportunity to talk about here.
The prominent career of the American artist, which peaked during the 1980s, would be interrupted in 1988 with his death at the age of 27 and was based on young and international urban culture, expressed in the colours and composition of his works.
There are three new watches based on works of art by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
HOLLYWOOD AFRICANS by Jean-Michel Basquiat
This watch channels Basquiat’s original 1983 artwork that addresses the multiple stereotypes surrounding African Americans in the entertainment industry and American society at large.
The vibrant yellow watch face features the painting’s trio of figures, depicting the artist with rap musician Rammellzee and painter Toxic, who travelled with him from New York. And as in Basquiat’s works, text, images and abstract signs combine to generate multiplied energy.
ISHTAR by Jean-Michel Basquiat
The 1983 artwork is named after Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of fertility and war, and the combination of script and Roman numerals in the painting takes centre stage on the black dial.
The strap features different elements from the artwork, combining historical references to power with depictions of faces common to Basquiat’s work.
(UNTITLED) by Jean-Michel Basquiat
The artist used to “sign” his works of art in different ways. On this model’s dial is the artist’s famous three-pointed crown motif in bold black lines that stand out in the original 1982 artwork, perfectly framed by the black case, strap back and loop.
The finishing touch is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s signature on the lower strap.
Each of the watches can be purchased individually at the brand’s official boutiques and authorized retailers for a price of €105, or together in a special limited-production edition through a raffle taking place in selected stores, for a price of €370.
It should also be noted that the special edition features a set of details on the watches that are not possible to find when purchased individually, including two loops, the upper one featuring the crown and the lower one displaying the artist’s name. The other differentiating detail is the colour of the second’s hand, appearing in gold on the “Untitled”, yellow on the “ISHTAR” and neon pink on the “Hollywood”, thus justifying the €55 premium reflected in the price of the set compared to the value of the three watches sold separately.