Created in 1983, this abstract oil painting epitomises the street art and neo-expressionism styles. With its use of bold pinks and yellows, and the more muted tones of brown and black, it really draws the eye and attention, much like many other paintings and pieces within the collection.
The artist is well known for his art and paintings in which is depicts different heads in a variety of styles, strokes and colours. With a modern feel, his paintings, such as Dustheads, a 1982 painting, or Untitled, he manages to draw inspiration from the likes of Scream, one of the most famous heads ever painted by Edvard Munch. As a black American, his work is inspired by cultural reclamation and the many issues the world faces today.
Pin Head Wig is especially poignant of such reclamation due to the bright colours used and the correlation between this and the artist's Haitian heritage. Viewers of the piece can see bold, black lines being used to segregate the different words, drawings, and certain words. The audience can see words such as "The Final Battle", "Venus", and "Rum" written which encourages the audience to look even closer and deeper at the story being conveyed. At the bottom of the painting, you can see the words "smoke bomb" as well as the brown marks which depicts the bombs themselves, as well as a pillar of smoke, which alludes to wars that so many parts of the world are faced with.
The colours used, the clear use of words, and the themes shown certainly highlight the messages that Jean-Michel Basquiat is attempting to convey - in fact, it is incredibly difficult to ignore. Skin Head Wig has a confrontational feel to it and really does encourage viewers to listen and really consider the incredible story the artist is attempting to convey. There is a real sense with this particular abstract piece that we're gaining an insight into the incredibly complex mind of Jean-Michel Basquiat and all the issues of the world that he thinks about.
As well as being inspired by African art, this piece, and indeed the collection can be compared to Andy Warhol's contemporary offerings. With the use of bright colours, expressionism, and attention-grabbing storytelling, the two artists are true echelons of the artist world and fine art.