The piece combines acrylic and collage on canvas, which is the most common way in which Basquiat worked during his career. The item measures 223.5cm long, by 195.6 cm wide and this was an artist who consistently liked to make use of very large canvases which can also be seen in the careers of related artists such as Rothko and also Pollock. Despite the haphazard appearance of the content in his work, the artist would actually put plenty of thought and planning into his paintings, often producing study drawings or expanding on ideas with quick sketches prior to starting the larger acrylic work. He also made use of oil pens from time to time as well, but consistently looked for alternative methods of working, as his creative ideas were always armed with enthusiasm and curiosity.
If we look more closely at the composition we find a series of different areas of content, placed on top of a predominantly yellow background which varies in shade slightly across the canvas. There is a red car in the top right corner, with a group of three figures just below. There are then further figures to the left and below, as well as a large amount of text which is applied partly by hand, and partly from other sources. One can immediately tell that the written texts will deliver some symbolic messages, but the meaning behind them will take time to decipher.
This artwork is now a part of a private collection, believed to be based somewhere in the United States, perhaps New York. This popular painter has had many of his artworks snapped up in this way and they appear now to have been sensible investments because of the large values now associated with work from Basquiat. Further examples of his work that you may be interested to see include Irony of Negro Policeman, Trumpet, Skull and Pez Dispenser, all of which are amongst his most famous paintings of all. He created a form of typography, almost icongraphy, that would be used again and again throughout many of his artworks, whilst also consistently referring back to political issues of which he felt strongly about at the time. He was an unusual element within the art world and wanted to take the opportunities given to him to help his own community for the benefit of future generations, and that is certainly something that he managed to achieve.