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拍品詳情

當代藝術日拍

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倫敦

Jean-Michel Basquiat
1960-1988年
LEE HARVEY OSWALD
felt-tip pen on wood
34.2 by 27.8cm.; 13 1/2 by 11in.
Executed in 1983.
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This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

來源

Galleria Salvatore Ala, Milan (a gift from the artist in 1983)
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

相關資料

Unflinching and compelling, Basquiat’s portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald directly interrogates the cloud of mystery and conspiracy that obscures him in the public mind. As Kennedy’s alleged assassin, himself murdered before he could be brought to trial, Oswald has always been at the centre of the conspiracy theories that surround Kennedy’s death. Executed twenty years after the event, Basquiat’s work foregrounds the figure at the heart of the controversy, yet at the same time his deliberate simplification of the subject’s features directs the work towards wider questions about identity and notoriety.

The assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent murder of Oswald were both captured on film and were among the first historical events to be broadcast internationally. In the years following, as modern culture embraced the cult of the image, pictures of the main protagonists were ubiquitous. Lee Harvey Oswald was assimilated into the nation’s collective consciousness as the ultimate icon of criminality. Basquiat, always intrigued by Oswald, was fully aware of this; in his street artist persona SAMO© Basquiat once created a fifteen-foot long multiple choice graffiti which asked:
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING IS OMNIPRESENT?
[ ] LEE HARVEY OSWALD
[ ] COCA-COLA LOGO
[ ] GENERAL MELONRY
[ ] SAMO©...

The text embedded in the present work directly references the graffiti that first brought Basquiat to the attention of the Manhattan art scene. It combines with the primitive, almost child-like rawness of the drawn lines to give the work a very visceral immediacy. At the same time as embracing the urban art of his origins Lee Harvey Oswald alludes to traditions of ‘high’ art as Basquiat scrutinises the predominance of the image in modern culture. The drawn on frame makes real the supposed ‘framing’ of Oswald whilst referencing and challenging the modern visual culture that has confined Oswald to the ‘frame’ of an image. In this Lee Harvey Oswald brilliantly embodies Basquiat’s consistent preoccupation with the universal questions of identity and representation.

當代藝術日拍

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倫敦