Unsigned Print

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Screenprint, 1983
Unsigned Print Edition of 85
H 102cm x W 102cm

Critical Review

The rough blue lines which surround the top of the head appear like barbed wire. This is a head at once palpably alive and literally scared to death with its expression of shock and fear. The thick, curving lines inside the skull evoke folds of brain tissue whilst the use of red lines suggests veins, adding to the tension between the skull and the living, breathing body. The cacophonous clash of colour, line and shape is simultaneously deeply alive and evocative of an artificial life form taken from the pages of a gothic horror.

Even when not faithfully sketching body parts depicted in Gray’s Anatomy, Head is a clear example of the artist’s persistent return to images rooted in an interest in the structures which make up the human form.