The New York apartment that late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat called home for the last five years of his life will house actress Angelina Jolie’s new fashion brand.
The property at 57 Great Jones Street in Manhattan’s Noho neighbourhood will be home to Jolie Atelier, the brand announced this week, adding that the new tenants will “do our best to respect and honour its artist legacy with community and creativity”, in an Instagram post.
The property will be leased to Jolie under long-term commercial use for eight years, according to Meridian Retail Leasing brokers John Roesch and Garret Kelly. While they would not disclose the monthly rent charge for the space, the property was previously listed with a $51,000 per month asking price in base rent plus $9,000 per month in taxes for a minimum of 10 years.
Jolie plans to preserve the graffiti-covered exterior of the building as a tribute to Basquiat’s early days as an artist known for the SAMO tags and poetic phrases that he and Al Diaz created throughout Lower Manhattan, Meridian Capital Group brokers told Artnews.
The 6,600 sq. ft building was once owned by artist Andy Warhol, who rented the space to Basquiat starting in 1983. Basquiat lived and worked there for five years, up until his death there at age 27 of an accidental heroin overdose on 12 August 1988. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation installed a plaque on the building in 2016 commemorating Basquiat, stating that the late artist “challenged established notions of high and low art, race and class, while forging a visionary language that defied characterisation”.
Before Warhol purchased the building in 1970, the property is believed to have housed a dance hall and bare-knuckle boxing venue with connections to New York mobsters like Lucky Luciano and Al Capone. The building most recently was the site of referral-only Japanese restaurant Bohemian.
Jolie announced in May the founding of Jolie Atelier, a fashion brand that will “make use of the high-quality vintage material and deadstock fabric already available” and utilise “a skilled and diverse family of expert tailors, pattern makers and artisans from around the world”, she said in an Instagram post. Weeks later, she put out a call online for tailors living in New York. The label is scheduled to launch in autumn 2023.
Jolie is known to be an art collector, and sold a painting by Winston Churchill for a record £8.2m at Christie’s London in 2021.