This work by the Haitian-American painter Jean Michel Basquiat reached
$ 51,909 in April 1998 and had been estimated between 33 and 50,000 dollars.
It is a mix of acrylic, charcoal, graphite in the messy style of Basquiat who probably painted all his pictures when UTI of alcohol or drugs. I personally find no interest whatsoever in this horror but ten years ago people in London were ready to pay almost 52,000 dollars for it. It measures 30 x 40 in.
They were probably right because more recently his boxer painting sold for $13.5 million in New Ork city and seems to be a more developped copy of this picture executed bizarrely a year later (1983).
Basquiat passed away in 1988 : he was born in Brooklyn, New York City in 1960. His mother, Matilde, was Puerto Rican and his father, Gerard Jean-Baptiste, was of Haitian origin and a former Haitian Minister of the Interior. Because of his parents' nationalities, Basquiat was fluent in French, Spanish, and English and often read Symbolist poetry, mythology, history and medical texts, particularly Gray's Anatomy in those languages.
He dated an aspiring and then-unknown performer named Madonna in the fall of 1982. That same year, Basquiat met Andy Warhol, with whom he collaborated extensively, eventually forging a close, if strained, friendship. He was also briefly involved with artist David Bowes. Basquiat died of mixed-drug toxicity (he had been combining cocaine and heroin, known as "speedballing") at his 57 Great Jones Street loft/studio in 1988.