This is a fairy simple artwork, more akin to a sketch or cartoon. There are just a few simple additions which are mainly identifiable. The background is left blank, rather than the usual flurry of roughly applied colour which made other paintings much busier than found here. There is a rocket, some sort of petrol can and also a sword with blood dripping from it. A black man in shorts is then seen to the left hand side of the composition, with an arrow to his right which appears to signify a connection between the different elements. The title of the piece, Large Body of Water, is then crawled on the right hand side is roughly written capital letters which is how Basquiat normally added lettering within this type of painting. The artist regularly wrote about the struggles of his people within the US and perhaps that is the message being communicated here.
Despite the troubles that he experienced in promoting his own work during the earlier periods of his career, Basquiat would eventually achieve a prominent position within the American art scene which allowed him to spend time in the company of a number of other notable names. They in turn would grow to appreciate his work and his talent and this then allowed more opportunities to come his way, whilst the media also began to cover his work with a greater interest. Today, he is highly prominent and valuable, with younger generations continuing to be attracted to his work and to celebrate what he managed to achieve against all the odds.
This was a mixed media artwork that incorporated all of acrylic, charcoal, crayon, pastel, pencil. Basquiat loved the use of acrylic pens and produced many of his best paintings using those. Many artists from the second half of the 20th century would combine many different tools together, when previously most art movements had been in oils or tempera, for painting, and then marble or some other stone for sculpture. Many traditions were therefore left behind as true expression was achieved and little resistance was thrown up against it. The US was particularly ahead of the game in that regard and this nation perhaps led the art world for the first time during this period. Previously western art had been led by artists from Italy, France and the Northern regions over a period of many centuries and including the likes of the Renaissance, Baroque and Romanticist eras.