The artist worked within a style that we term Neo-Expressionism, although his own approach was fairly unique, taking in a good variety of different influences in order to create paintings that were both highly memorable but also consistent in their looking. He was particularly close to his Afro-Caribbean roots and these impacted his abstract approach. We find elements of African art here, as well as scribbles almost akin to cave painting, such is their simplicity. All Colored Cast features arrows pointing in all manner of directions, as well as many words that appear to be interlinked with each other. We find the likes of Haiti, China and Jersey mentioned, and most prominently is Alexander the Great alongside some Roman numerals. It is hard to decipher these elements at first glance, but those knowledgeable on his career will be able to explain the symbolism of this painting relatively easily.
A near identical version of this design, All Colored Cast II, was sold at Christie's in the year 2000 for $446,000, which was broadly in line with its pre-sale valuation. Today, one might expect that piece to go for several millions, in fact, as the significance of Basquiat's career has risen immeasurably. The rise in demand for his work now means that most of his career is in private hands, unfortunately, and some of those collecting his work have done so as an investment opportunity, rather than a specific appreciation for the artist. Thankfully, Basquiat's work has entered the mainstream and become particularly popular with the younger generations, who now frequently wear images of his work on their bags or clothes. His rise against hardship adds to the considerable appeal of his creative artworks.
The way in which the figure is created will remind many of the artist's Irony of Negro Policeman and also Untitled Boxer. You will find each of these use solid black tones to fill the entire head and body, before the artist then appends marks over the top in a fairly relaxed and free manner. This was him at his most expressive, and in the example of All Colored Cast (Part III), Basquiat uses white and red marks of oil sticks to draw out the upper torso features as well as the arms and hands. The eyes are simple circle shapes with lines for the eye brows that will remind some of traditional African sculpture.