© Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat - Licensed by Artestar, New York / Adagp, Paris, 2017
© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage
Made in 1987, this work draws on a number of influences.
As with Grillo (1984), also in the collection, it echoes the nailed fetishes of the tribes of Congo – the Minkisi – with the funeral mask to the right of a slender figure with a single eye, which could be likened to Christ on the cross. Above is an outline of Batman, a strangely primitive icon in American popular culture that Basquiat used on several occasions. These figures, along with a yellow skull, are placed on a background of inscriptions and graffiti, photocopied or drawn directly onto the canvas. Basquiat’s works often seem to be the outcome of a magic ritual, and that is the case here.