West End is not the kind of territory you find a lot of outdoor art in – too much Vanderbilt, too many chains and high-end businesses. But on the backside of the West End Rite Aid next to the spot that Joy’s Flowers recently vacated (and is now labeled “Gyros Kitchen,” though the restaurant doesn’t seem to have opened yet), there is now this exuberant tribute to Jean-Michael Basquait. Basquait was an American artist of Puerto Rican and Haitian descent who died in 1988. He has been deeply influential in American art, graffiti, and hip hop culture. Ironically for a highly political artist who critiqued American power structures and inequality, one of his works became the most expensive work by an American artist ever sold at auction. “Untitled” (1982) sold for $110.5 million in a 2017 Sotheby’s auction. This portrait by the artist JamersonSGC may be based on an Andy Warhol photo held by the J. Paul Getty Museum. A lot of Jamerson’s work is in the Lafayette/Napier Homes neighborhood, but recently his work has also appeared here on West End, on Jefferson Street, and on Charlotte Avenue.
Located at 2416 West End Avenue. That’s the address of the Rite Aid. The mural is on the east side of the building. This is not an easy neighborhood to park in, though there are a number of nearby businesses whose lots you can use for a short period of time.