From the anatomical features of Da Vinci to the fractured features of modernist portraiture, the human head has reigned supreme in Art History. Enter Jean Michel Basquiat – the consummate draftsman for a new age. Discover how Basquiat revolutionized the genre and captured the manic core of the human condition through his masterwork Untitled (Head), 1982, to be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. Encapsulating the incredible dexterity that defines the very best of the artist’s works, and extraordinary for its use of India ink under the oilstick to lend depth and contrast to the composition, Untitled (Head) is a heroic depiction that reflects the explosive talent and brilliance of its author.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. Basquiat first achieved fame 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 rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture. By the 1980s, his neo-expressionist paintings were being exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art in 1992.