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Unsigned Print

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Screenprint, 2017
Unsigned Print Edition of 20

Critical Review

Anarchic, frantic, and whimsical are some of the adjectives that come to mind to describe Basquiat's mark making in this piece. On first look, it seems to be a chaotic mix of colour and movement, yet this conceals a meticulous approach to composition that is driven by purpose and attention to symbolic detail.

Blue paint obscures much of the text and a number of sketches. Allusions to Christianity abound, with representations of resurrection and references to “John The Revelator” and “myrrh” accompanying an eclectic mix of symbols and drawings. Much of the lettering is scribbled or crossed out. The pools of blue paint suggest the sea, giving the composition a map-like quality.