Artworks under the lens

Untitled (Skull): A Masterpiece by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Let’s take a friendly stroll into the intriguing world of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his famous creation, Untitled (Skull). Basquiat, a cool artist from New York, made some awesome art, and we’re about to explore his life, his super interesting career, and the cool story behind Untitled (Skull).

Who was Jean-Michel Basquiat?

Okay, so Jean-Michel Basquiat was this amazing artist born in 1960. He had family roots in Haiti and Puerto Rico and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. At first, he was all about the street art scene, and later on, he rocked the gallery world. In the 1980s, everyone started talking about him because of his unique mix of graffiti, street art, and fancy art stuff. Basquiat’s art was like a superhero tackling big issues like race and social stuff, making him a big deal in contemporary art.

His Career

Untitled (1982)

Picture this: Basquiat’s journey was like a rollercoaster of creativity and a bit of drama. In the early 1980s, he teamed up with his buddy Al Diaz, and together they formed the graffiti duo SAMO©. They were like the superheroes of street art. After that, Basquiat moved on to the fancy art galleries, and he even teamed up with the legendary Andy Warhol. Their collaboration made waves in the art world. Basquiat’s paintings were all about bright colors, cool pictures, and mixing words and symbols, making them feel urgent and spontaneous.

What is happening in Untitled (Skull)?

Untitled (Skull)
Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
Date Painted1981
MediumAcrylic and oilstick on wood
GenreNeo-expressionism, Contemporary Art
Period20th Century, Postmodernism
Dimensions72 x 48 inches
Series / VersionsUnique piece, not part of a series
Where is it housed?Private Collection

So, in 1981, Basquiat painted this thing called Untitled (Skull). It’s pretty cool because it’s got a skull, and skulls are usually a bit spooky, right? But this skull is more than just a scary face. It’s like a superhero symbol, reminding us that life doesn’t last forever. The wild lines, crazy markings, and secret symbols in the painting make you think about how life is kinda messy and confusing. Basquiat mixed graffiti with fancy painting, showing that art can be both street-cool and gallery-fancy.


Okay, let’s dive into the cool details of Untitled (Skull). Imagine the painting is like a superhero comic. The wild lines and bright colors are like the superhero’s powerful moves. They show how Basquiat was a superhero at expressing big feelings through his art. The messy and neat parts in the painting are like the superhero dealing with the ups and downs of life. The skull is like a symbol saying, “Hey, life is short, so let’s make the most of it!” Basquiat was like an art superhero, connecting the cool street art with the fancy gallery world.

Interesting Facts

Guess what? In 2017, one of Basquiat’s paintings, called Untitled, became a superstar at an auction. It sold for a crazy $110.5 million! That made him one of the most expensive American artists ever. Talk about a big deal!

Here’s a fun fact: The skull idea in Basquiat’s art might come from the Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) tradition. It’s like a cultural twist that adds even more coolness to his art.

Before Basquiat teamed up with Warhol, he was already cooking up some awesome art recipes. Untitled (Skull) came before their collaboration, showing that Basquiat was a creative genius on his own.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of the Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat?

The artwork highlights Basquiat’s unique technique as well as his significant theme of black cultural identity reclamation, which is shown by his representations of skulls linked to African masks. The imperfect representation heightens the atmosphere of mystery surrounding the skull.

How much was Untitled sold for?

American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat produced the artwork Untitled in 1982. The painting, which shows a skull, is one of the most costly pieces of art ever created. It went for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in May 2017, which was the highest amount ever paid for an American artist’s work at auction in a public sale.


Untitled (Skull) isn’t just a painting; it’s like a magic portal into Basquiat’s world. It’s like he’s saying, “Hey, let’s think about life and how awesome and short it is.” The painting is like a secret code that makes us feel stuff about being alive. As we dig deeper into this superhero artwork, we uncover more layers of Basquiat’s legacy. He was like a superhero of contemporary art, leaving a mark that still echoes in today’s art scene. So, next time you see a cool skull, remember Basquiat, the artist who made art feel like a superhero adventure!