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Jawbone Of An Ass

Jawbone Of An Ass
Unsigned Print

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Screenprint, 2004
Unsigned Print Edition of 85
H 108cm x W 155cm

Critical Review

Even if the textual references of Jawbone Of An Ass are largely historical, social commentary linked to the present day bubbles under the surface. Next to the title at the top of the image reads ‘sbestos’, linking this piece to the anti-capitalist sentiment of Per Capita and Rinso through its allusion to the Asbestos scandal.

The crowd of figures which surround the central piece of text are ambiguously rendered, appearing to spectate on the historical figures, events and places which populate the text. The pair appearing to throw punches in the bottom-right of the image evoke not only the violence of the conflicts mentioned, but also recalling Basquiat’s fascination with the world of boxing, as documented in prints like Boxer Rebellion.