Jean-Michel Basquiat | Ernok



Ernok, 1983/2001
Screenprint in colours, on wove paper, the full sheet
40 x 40 in
101.6 x 101.6 cm
Signed and dated in pencil by the executor of the artist’s estate on the reverse and with the estate stamp
Edition of 85 plus 15 AP


Jean-Michel Basquiat | Ernok


Known as a political-poetical graffiti artist, Basquiat’s body of work is a Neo-Expressionist and Primitivism aesthetic. Encoding a series of words and symbols, Basquiat represents elements of his cultural heritage as a social commentary on racial segregation and alienation. The loosely defined and abstracted image reflect a fragmented and torn individual.


Jean-Michel Basquiat


Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was a prominent Brooklyn-born painter of Puerto Rican and Haitian descent. He is best known for his primitive style,  his collaboration with pop artist Andy Warhol, and his part in SAMO (an informal graffiti duo based in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970s). With a Haitian-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, Basquiat’s diverse cultural heritage was one of his many sources of inspiration, and he was acutely aware of his marginalised place in the world. As a self-taught artist, Basquiat had begun drawing at an early age on sheets of paper his father, an accountant, brought home from the office.  His mediums ranged from poetry, drawing, and painting, often including text, abstraction, figuration and historical information into his art.

Basquiat first began working with a close friend, they tagged subway trains and Manhattan buildings with cryptic aphorisms. In 1977, Basquiat quit high school and went on to sell sweatshirts and postcards featuring his artwork on the streets of New York. In 1980, his work was featured in a group show and he received critical acclaim for his ability to distill the world around him through his unparalleled fusion of words, stick figures, and animals. His paintings came to be adored by the public.


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