Flexible was released as part of an 85-screen print edition in 2016. The vaguely defined and obfuscated picture depicts a human who is shattered and torn. It seems to represent a West African narrator, the Griot. This artwork was likely, partly, an exploration of his own personality, considering Jean-Michel's artistic curiosity of his society and ethnicity. Basquiat, when asked, would define his art as heroism, the streets, and royalty. This artwork acts as a description of these three key themes in several respects. A tribal ruler is a figure Basquiat portrays. With hands outstretched and interlocked over his shoulders, his stance conveys faith and strength, qualities of his heroism. It seems that he is crowning himself. The essence of the support for the painting and how this material came about brings us back to the artist's roots on Manhattan streets.
The wood was derived from the fence that once enclosed his courtyard. He had it brought down when one night, during a break from his work, he went into the courtyard of his studio and was startled to find a homeless man who had slipped in through the fence. Bringing down the wooden fence meant he no longer had an enclosed patio. This meant that he would never need to worry about someone invading his backyard and privacy. Basquiat then had his assistants bring in the deconstructed fence, which he slowly revived back to life inside his studio by using them as painting supports. Basquiat appeared to state that his imagery would be treated with the highest reverence and severity with the wooden fence supports' inclusion.
This artwork stresses to be noticed for its mass, density and size. Recalling the implementation of Flexible in the Jean-Michel exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is enlightening. It loomed over the enormous exhibit space. This arrangement, like a stop sign, forced the crowd to calm down and give it attention. This acrylic and oil stick on wood painting was sold for $45,315,000 at a New York Auction on May 17, 2018, during the 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale. The current owner acquired it from the artist, Basquiat.