Charles The First – Estate – 4 – Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat
Title: Charles The First
Year: 1982
Medium:Screen Print on Lenox Museum Board
Size: 61″ X 48″ in
Edition of 85
Additional Information: Signed


A prominent artist in 1980s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat made a name for himself with his graffiti-style art—most notably with his trademark skulls and masks designs. The young artist drew inspiration from various sources which were close to him, including his Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage, contemporary political issues, religion, and pop cultural trends.

Charles the First –Estate 4 is Jean- Michel Basquiat’s 1982 screenprint artwork measuring 50″ by 60″ created on a Lenox museum board. This is one of the artist’s Estate Print’s collections, which expresses various chaotic images placed in quadrants. The artwork can be described as a primitive aesthetic and neo-primitivism, representing elements of graffiti. Basquiat was fascinated by the anatomy of the young, especially from the fact that his mother gave her a book on Gray’s Anatomy when he was just seven years. This inspired him to examine more of children’s work, and the chaotic representations in the images seem to demonstrate the work of a child. In most of his work, he recalls the styles of paintings and graffiti in the 80s. The artwork is characterized by a layer of bright colors that arise from the background, embedded in each of the quadrants. What follows is a series of words and writings, which are aimed at the readers’ interpretations. The audience is presented with the artist’s cultural heritage, each represented in symbols and words.

Having been raised in a diverse cultural background, this became a source of his inspiration evident in many of his works. The sticks, words, and incomprehensible aspects of the painting are a demonstration of the various social aspects such as alienation and racial segregation. What makes this painting a good investment is its representation of the artist’s past, which illustrates his fragmented past. The loosely attached quadrants in the painting show his torn past.


Additional Information