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Catalog Data

Created by:
Jean-Michel Basquiat, American, 1960 - 1988  Search this
watercolor, gouache and ink on paper
H x W (artwork): 3 3/8 × 5 1/4 in. (8.6 × 13.3 cm)
H x W x D (framed): 13 7/8 × 16 1/8 × 1 5/8 in. (35.2 × 41 × 4.1 cm)
Place made:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
This is a small, painted rendition of the American flag on a crumpled piece of paper, with the flag reaching to all four edges of the paper. Instead of a blue block with stars in the upper left quadrant, there is a blue block with one single white “X” painted inside of it. Both the blue paint and the white “X” appear to have been done with gouache paint. The white “X” is partially faded.
There are nine, red, horizontal stripes in watercolor on this flag. The lowest ninth red stripe is fragmented and not as densely painted as the others.
The artist has also used a typewriter to type upper case black “X” s across the striped portion of the piece. There are 10 horizontal rows of “X” s. The “X” s in the bottom row of the piece are scattered.
Framed with an inset mat, the flag does not lie flat, but as it would naturally due to the crumpled and textured paper.
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, From the Alexis Adler Archive
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Permission required for use.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Visual Arts
Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience.
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 052
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture