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Dog Bite/ Ax to Grind

Dog Bite/ Ax to Grind

Jean-Michel Basquiat (in 1983)

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  • Lianne asked

    What is the meaning of the dog being aggresive?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Lianne, an aggressive dog is kind of threatening, and this thread can be used as a motive to be aggressive yourself too. It is difficult to define the exact meaning of the motives, language and titles of Basquiats work. They are personal (maybe the artist was bitten, literally of metaphorically) and universal at the same time. It is important to be open, and see what a motive like this can mean for your own life. I hope this is helpful. Kind regards, Els


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More information

At the end of the 'seventies, Jean-Michel Basquiat was still wandering the streets of Lower Manhattan, where he scrawled short poetic texts and strange symbols on the walls. Andy Warhol introduced him to the New York art scene, where the graffiti were recognised by several galleries as a vital and expressive new art form. American graffiti artists, who started with spray cans on walls and subways, were now being contracted by galleries to work on artist canvas. Basquiat was also introduced to the market as an artist and became one of the greatest names in graffiti art. The spontaneous and expressive character of his work was not only inspired by graffiti but also by the Art Brut of Jean Dubuffet, the paintings of Picasso and the shapes of primitive art. In 1984, an exhibition of the work of Basquiat was held in Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Dog Bite/ Ax to Grind
Material and technique Acrylic on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height Error: 152,3 is not a valid BCD value cm
Width 305 cm
Thickness Error: 3,5 is not a valid BCD value cm
Artists Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat
Accession number 3097 (MK)
Credits Purchased 1984
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1984
Creation date in 1983
Entitled parties © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. c/o Pictoright Amsterdam, 2022
Internal exhibitions Vierendertig honden voor meneer en mevrouw Okkens (2012)
Kunst van formaat. De collectie XL vanaf de jaren vijftig (2018)
External exhibitions God save the Queen (2012)
Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music (2022)
Geographical origin The United States of America > North America > America

All about the artist

Jean-Michel Basquiat

New York 1960 - New York 1988

Jean Michel Basquiat's mother was Puerto Rican and his father was of Haitian descent. In 1977, Basquiat began spraying graffiti on the walls of Manhattan, where...

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