Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled (Head)

Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat
Medium: 21 color screenprint on paper
Title: Untitled (Head)
Year: 1983/2001
Edition: 85
Framed Size: 45" x 45"
Sheet Size: 40" x 40"
Signed: Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat stamp to verso. Signed and dated by executor of the estate to the verso 'Gerard Basquiat 11-19-01'
On May 18, 2017, the painting "Untitled (Head)" (1982) sold at a Sotheby's auction for $110.5 million. It became the most expensive painting by an American artist sold at auction and the sixth most expense work ever sold at auction. Only 10 other works have broken the $100 millon mark.

Call for Value

Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled (Head)

More Photos

Advanced Search

Join our Mailing List

E-mail Address:

More Pieces

Artist Biography

Jean‑Michel Basquiat was an American artist. He first achieved notoriety as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s where the hip hop, post-punk, and street art movements had coalesced. By the 1980s, he was exhibiting his neo-expressionist paintings in galleries and museums internationally. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.

Basquiat's art focused on "suggestive dichotomies", such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. He appropriated poetry, drawing, and painting, and married text and image, abstraction, and figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique. Basquiat used social commentary in his paintings as a "springboard to deeper truths about the individual", as well as attacks on power structures and systems of racism, while his poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle. Despite his work's "unstudied" appearance, Basquiat very skillfully and purposefully brought together in his art a host of disparate traditions, practices, and styles to create a unique kind of visual collage, one deriving, in part, from his urban origins, and in another a more distant, African-Caribbean heritage.

"Basquiat's canon revolves around single heroic figures: athletes, prophets, warriors, cops, musicians, kings and the artist himself. In these images the head is often a central focus, topped by crowns, hats, and halos. In this way the intellect is emphasized, lifted up to notice, privileged over the body and the physicality of these figures (i.e. black men) commonly represent in the world.” said Kellie Jones, Lost in Translation: Jean-Michel in the (Re)Mi

Basquiat's work is one of the few examples of how an early 1980s American Punk, or graffiti-based and counter-cultural practice could become a fully recognized, critically embraced and popularly celebrated artistic phenomenon, indeed not unlike the rise of American Hip Hop during the same era.