Art Historian's Analysis:
"As in Catalogue Number 22, we see that the majority of Catalogue Number 23 is composed on top of a black background that has been painted on top of the cardboard surface. This black surface covers almost the entirety of the cardboard and is in turn almost entirely covered by an oversized head. Along the right side of the head we see several words and phrases drawn in red and white, such as: “HORN,” “NONE,” and in the top right corner “DOES IT REALLY MATTER.”
This exquisitely rendered head is shown from a frontal perspective. There is an emphasis here on the eyes, which have been repetitively circled in several colors, and the large rectangular mouth that exceeds anatomy to enter the realm of the abstract. Rather than teeth, for example, we see several dotted lines within the larger rectangle that suggest their spacing and alignment. The nose appears as an inverted t-shape with two circles drawn in to represent the nostrils; this overall shape is similar to the nose seen in the rightmost figure of Basquiat’s Untitled (Two Heads on Gold). As in Catalogue Number 23, the rightmost figure in Two Heads on Gold also has a left ear projecting from the side of the head that has been outlined in a contrasting color. The exaggerated grid mouth, which in this case extends horizontally beyond the boundaries of the face, is a known feature of figurative paintings by Basquiat beginning in 1982. An extreme example can be found in A Next Loin and / Or where the mouth has been abstracted in a similar way to that in Catalogue Number 23.
Conclusion: Considering the strong visual similarities between Catalogue Number 23 and known works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, in conjunction with the handwriting analysis of the included text, it is my professional opinion that this work is consistent with the hand of Jean-Michel Basquiat and may be attributed to him." - Dr Jordana Moore Saggese
Basquiat's Colleague's Analysis:
"The above pictured works of art meet many of the criteria associated with the straightforward and simplistic, rapid-fire style employed by JMP when painting on found objects and discarded scraps of corrugated cardboard. This type and style of painting is one that might be easily identified with the artist's early work while still engaged in writing his urban poetic observations on the streets of downtown NYC.
It is likely that the original intended use of the cardboard was as a surface for the artist to wipe clean his brush while working on another, larger painting. Never one to miss an opportunity to clear his thoughts, these quick, continuous-line artworks were as much an exorcism of ideas as the intended creation of something new. Unsurprisingly, as with the majority of works produced by Basquiat, the omnipresent layering effect is in full force in a stream of consciousness application whoe symbolism and connotation is really only known to the artist himself. The application of the paint on these three works of art is typical and representative of the artist's known approach to the substrate. Basquiat works are known for their often-solid background color upon which the layering begins. In [Catalog #23] one can see that the initial black background color was completely dry before the green then yellow and finally red was added creating and forming the desired effect". - Scott Ferguson
"Similarities to known works by Jean-Michel Basquiat-- "JEAN", "HORN", "NONE", "DOESNT REALLY MATTER", repetitive "S"s (cr-vol.I 45, 81), the three point crown (cr-vol.I 26, 27, 57, 62, 199, 245, 320), corkscrew doodles/random coils (cr-vol.I 69, 84, 85, 88, 89, 141, 144, 147), caged mouth (cr-vol.I 69, 88, 89, 140), concentric circles for eyes (cr-vol.I 69, 84, 88, 89, 146-147; cr-vol.II page 88 frames 4 and 6, page 108 frames 1, 2, and 8, page 138 frame 2, page 144 frame 5, page 176 frame 1 and 4), arrow lacking fletchings (cr-vol.I 137; cr-vol.II 104 frame 6)."
"Numerous distinctive similarities were observed in the hand printings, monograms, symbols, markings, sketches and doodles observed in this Catalogue item #23 painting when compared to the works by Jean-Michel Basquiat as presented in the Catalogue Raisonne and in The Notebooks. Due to these similarities, Jean-Michel Basquiat is identified as the person who created this Catalogue item #23 painting. That is to say, Jean-Michel Basquiat authored the Catalogue item #23 painting."
*An "identification" is a term of art in Forensic Document Examination opinion rendering and represents the highest degree of confidence expressed by document examiners in handwriting comparisons. That is, the examiner has no reservations whatsoever, and the examiner is certain, based on evidence contained in the questioned materials, that the writer of the known material actually wrote the handwritten works in questions (ASTM - American Society of Testing and Materials - designation E 1658-08 Standard Terminology for Expressing Conclusions of Forensic Document Examiners). - James A. Blanco