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“Dog Leg Study” is a screenprint on paper created by the legendary neo-expressionist artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, in 1982 and released in a limited edition run of 50 prints by the artist’s estate in 2019. The print is 22 inches tall by 30 inches wide, and it is signed, stamped, and authenticated by the executor of The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. At the center of the print is a diagrammatic sketch of a dog’s leg compared to one of a human foot. Skull-like faces, a coin, a clock, and several all-seeing eyes round out this print’s imagery. Alongside these striking visuals are conglomerations of text in the artist’s handwriting that refer to both personal and political themes. Some of Basquiat’s most recognizable phrases feature in this print, such as “world famous” and “all beef.” Basquiat also included the names of several notable Black icons, such as the boxers Sugar Ray Robinson and Jersey Joe Walcott.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century. His dramatic life and iconic works of art—featuring obsessive scribbling, text, enigmatic symbols, diagrams, skulls, masks, and the artist’s trademark crown—have made his visual vocabulary instantly recognizable. In 1978 Basquiat began his artistic career as a graffiti sprayer in the streets of New York, tagging all of his works “SAMO,” which stands for “same old shit.” He earned a living by selling painted postcards and T-shirts and making assemblages from scrap metal. He soon attracted the attention of the New York street art scene and went on to inspire Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and other prominent urban artists of the late twentieth century. Andy Warhol was Basquiat’s mentor and friend, and he helped the young artist navigate the 1980s art world. Basquiat frequently drew inspiration from his Caribbean heritage; a convergence of African American, African, and Aztec cultural histories; classical themes; and figures of pop culture, including athletes and musicians. The immediacy and intellectual depth of his paintings won him widespread acclaim during his lifetime. Since his untimely death at the age of 27, the importance of Basquiat’s work, both in terms of financial worth and historical relevance, has increased exponentially. His blue chip works frequently set auction records. Basquiat’s paintings now belong in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
To see more of Basquiat’s work, please reach out to Taglialatella Galleries directly.