JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT

Rinso

Unlike Warhol, Basquiat’s appropriation of pop products was always aware of the sociopolitical subtexts behind such supposedly harmless products, as in the case of Untitled (Rinso), a 1950’s brand of soap. As Basquiat tells us with the written words in the bottom right corner, Rinso promised WHITEWSHING ACTION. The contoured head in the top right corner looks like the blackface characters of vaudeville variety shows from the same period. Expanding on the issue of race, the work is informed by KINGFISH and SAPHIRE, the names of the two African American stereotypical characters from the 1950’s television series.