would any of the art aficionados care to explain the rich symbolism in this masterpiece?
to me, it looks like someone has scribbled over it in a black crayon and someone else has played tic tac toe on it
I will tell you what I see, but it's purely subjective.
The skull: black, white, red
Violence, either state sponsored or tribal - think of some of the hot spots of the 70s and 80s - Central America, Africa, "Mothers of the Disappeared".
The tic tac toe:
The arbitrary chance of being a victim of that violence or avoiding it
X you lose
O you survive
Some might try to see the sun or a hopeful sign, but I see sickness. Though maybe also an effort to make a path away from the darker imagery.
The blue and white:
The purity and beauty of sky and clouds
All of human atrocities take place under the seeing but unmoved dome of the natural world.
God is not out there and does not intervene.
I have not read any art history or criticism about this painting. So just a naive look.
I did see the movie Basquiat when it came out. Possibly at a film festival; I don't remember.
If you are interested in the spring sales, Sotheby's had the second day of the contemporary art auction in NY yesterday - some Warhols, Motherwells, other things...
I do not seek; I find.
- Pablo Picasso