Jean-Michel Basquiat X Barbie

Name: Jean-Michel Basquiat X Barbie

Made by and When: Mattel, ©2019, released in 2020

Material: Articulated vinyl

Height: 11-1/2 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth/Other: Black synthetic fibers were used for the hair that is styled in four sections of microbraids/brown painted eyes with blue eyeshadow and painted upper eyelashes/closed mouth with dark lip color/painted blue fingernails.

Clothes: Dressed in a three-piece suit of a jacket, shirt, and wide-bottom pants, accessories include a tie, belt, gold crown, and red boots. The cloth of the suit is decorated with several Basquiat graffiti-style graphic drawings and paintings. What appears to be a self-portrait of Basquiat is an image of a brown-skinned man on the doll’s tie. Graphic facial images are on both lapels of the jacket. The oversized nylon webbed black belt continuously reads in white letters: SAMO© FOR THE SO-CALLED AVANTE GARDE.

SAMO is a graffiti tag originally used on the streets of New York City from 1978 to early 1980. The tag, written with a copyright symbol as “SAMO©”, and pronounced Same-Oh is primarily associated with the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, but was developed as a collaboration between Basquiat and Al Diaz.” (Wikipedia.)

Other: Mattel pays homage to artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat with this Barbie that uses the 1990s Nichelle head sculpt. Presented in a see-through box, the backdrop, side panels, and back of the box illustrate Basquiat drawings and paintings. An image of the artist is on the back of the box along with the following text:

During the 1980s, as the art movement known as neo-expression gained traction, a young street artist from Brooklyn, NY emerged. Barbie celebrates the influential work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. His frenetic paintings are an infusion of graphic poetry, cultural dichotomies, and compelling social statements. Basquiat played an essential role in elevating graffiti art from the underground to gaining well-deserved acclaim in the upper echelons of the art world.

This articulated doll is part of the Gold label collection. No more than 20,000 Jean-Michel Basquiat X Barbie dolls will be produced worldwide. A certificate of authenticity and a doll stand are included.

Slideshow (Use the right arrow to advance to the next image.)


Your comments are valued. Donations aid the initiative to preserve Black-doll history. 

If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, be sure to click the post title in the email, which links to the website to view all text and associated media. Please “like” and share this installation with your social media doll contacts. To subscribe, add your email address to the subscribe or sign-up field in the footer or right sidebar. 

Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: