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Since his death, the art market has increasingly anointed him as one of its greatest insiders.Thousands of artists, would-be-artists, and poseurs have tried to emulate his trenchant precocity, and the results have been predictably lame. Acrylic and oil paintstick on canvas with wooden supports and five smaller canvases painted with ink marker.
It should be mentioned that although Jean did attend a Catholic high school -- where religious images must have made an impression -- he used religious imagery in a free-wheeling and personal way, hybridizing and personalizing European and African forms and rites.
Money, fame and drugs never dimmed the visions of racial injustice and historical abuses of power that both haunted him and fueled his imagination.
Jean's sustained adolescent rage became the engine of his bracingly original art.
-- and one word each in Spanish (AGUA) and Dutch (HOEK).
So, inquiring visitors to Gagosian Gallery might start by asking: "Why the reference to Italian?