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Rome Pays Off

Rome Pays Off
Unsigned Print

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Screenprint, 2004
Unsigned Print Edition of 85
H 111cm x W 99cm

Critical Review

One reading of Basquiat’s use of references to ‘salt’ in his pieces is that it acknowledges the importance of the value of salt to colonial powers in Africa and elsewhere; it was considered a kind of ‘white gold’ due to its export value. The allusion to Rome, together with text pointing to market forces (“Estimated value”) adds to the piece’s underlying themes of empire and capitalism.