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Exploring Basquiat's Stream-of-Consciousness in 'Untitled, 1983

In his essay “Basquiat in History,” curator Marc Mayer writes:

“Untitled, 1983 is a thicket of words in three panels, almost certainly produced through the psychoanalytic/Surrealist techniques of stream of consciousness and free association. There are perplexing references to Nero, Marco Polo and Miles Davis, but also to radium, tin and the wax wings of Icarus.”

He adds, “Most of the language in this picture, however, as in quite a few others, refers to the human body, and the work is essentially a list of anatomical parts accompanied by four faces and a partial figure borrowed from Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.”

Learn more about Jean-Michel’s work and worldview in the Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure© Exhibition catalog.

Artwork: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1983)

Source: Basquiat, Brooklyn Museum (2005)

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