At that time Polke was a young photographer and painter who had not yet completed his art studies. Along with his elder fellow Gerhard Richter, another East German passed to the West, he considered the anti-Art of creating large size images from trivial pictures.
They were influenced by the pop art of Lichtenstein and Warhol with an additional feeling typical of Germany at that time, questioning the contradiction between leisure and war for the use of our planet.
In the same 2011 sale, Stadtbild II painted in 1968 by Polke was sold for £ 4.6M including premium. The theme looks opposite to Jungle, the city against the tropical scenery, but the contrasts of colors are similarly striking and both artworks question the society by imitating the travel posters.
I described Dschungel as follows before the 2011 sale :
The unidentified tropical landscape in backlighting is dominated by a huge sun rising or setting over the sea with a spectacular halo. The painting, including dark leaves in the foreground, is entirely built with small dots of color, as if it were an advertisement poster.
Dschungel is now lot 8 for sale by Sotheby's in New York on May 12.