Working in London since 1949, Souza observes Bacon. Better than any other artist in this group, he understands that the pictorial representation of human horror must have no limits. He is a precursor of Basquiat excepted that his terrible characters are never funny.
Like Picasso but for another reason, Souza deforms faces. Stupid, hairy and grinning, his characters offer an uncompromising vision of hell on earth.
In 1962, the artist executes large oil paintings on black satin which are the top of his gloomy art. He admits the influence of El Greco and Goya but Bosch and Soutine are also not far away.
On September 17 in New York, Christie's sells The Butcher, 206 x 112 cm, lot 416 estimated $ 1.5M. The man in overalls in a threatening attitude brandishes a long knife and holds a huge bone. The hooks hanging above him like clothespins further enhance the sinister expressionism of this scene of ordinary life.
On June 9, 2010, Christie's sold for £ 880K including premium Red Curse, 178 x 114 cm, made in same technique and same year, which leads us deeper into hell. A dark red mythical monster is about to possess or punish a naked woman.