Signed and dated at lower right.
Peter Saul came to prominence in the early 1960s as part of the Pop art movement, though his works eschewed the slickness of Lichtenstein or Warhol in favor of a more painterly manner and more subversive imagery. Throughout his career Saul has remained a controversial figure due to the social and political implications of his cartoon-inspired paintings. But his impudent jokes and flirting with bad taste have also made him a cult figure among younger artists such as Mike Kelley. In the 1980s Saul developed a meticulous technique of dappled brushstrokes, visible in the present portrait--a poignant yet comical rendering of a crying creature signaling what appears to be a thumbs-up gesture. Its garish colors and distorted features are typical of Saul's art.