Top-level sport offers to the Black champions their revenge against racial inequality. By showing the triumph, Jean-Michel deliberately confuses the athlete and the warrior. An untitled painting where the award to the black champion is the mystical crown of thorns was sold for £ 12.9M including premium by Christie's on June 27, 2012.
Painted during the same glorious year, World crown, 122 x 142 cm, is a pearl in the art of Jean-Michel, for two reasons.
This is a very rare example where two boxers are in full action. The stylized figures do not prevent the expression of strength and aggressiveness, quite the contrary. These fighting guys form the single theme of this image.
Above all, the battle is run between a white and a black. The title of world champion is at stake. A crown with three points will be attributed to each of the competitors and none is taking advantage in this remarkable symbol of racial equality through sport.
World crown is estimated $ 7M for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 12, lot 27.
On the following year, Jean-Michel returns to an exclusive glorification of a black athlete. The crown with three points is now firmly on the head of a baseball player who is certainly Hank Aaron. This artwork titled Orange sports figure was sold for £ 4.1 million including premium by Sotheby's on February 15, 2012.