The paining is an acrylic on canvas project which has a size of 180 centimetres by 260.5 centimetres. The center of the canvas is dominated by a large dark figure with thin, stick-like arms outstretched. The head is 'enlarged' and out of scale of the rest of the body. The left hand appears to be holding a paint roller, the right hand has a curved object of some kind.
Had the picture been painted recently, the item in the right hand may have been considered to be a 'selfie-stick'. The head of the portrait is defined by its 'electric-shock' hairstyle, while the mouth displays a collection of 'piano key' white teeth. The simplicity of the painting is reminiscent of the work of children. Some art experts consider that this painting is the result of the artist's interest in the work of Pablo Picasso, which may be why it is on display in Barcelona.
The painting is perhaps different from many of those produced by Basquiat as it offers a very large contrast between the very light coloured background and the much darker figure and shapes in the foreground. The image seems to show a wall, or large canvas, which has previously been painted with images, being covered over with a dark-red colour applied with the paint roller. This perhaps relates to the artist's choice of using recycled items in some of his works, such as the canvas for his 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Derelict' in which he used a number o pieces of reclaimed wood, fastened together with nails and hinges.
The MACBA is also the venue for two other artworks by Basquiat which were painted around the same period. 'King Zulu' is a tribute to the Jazz musician Louis Armstrong, while the similar vintage 'Sterno' portrays a world of alcohol abuse. It is interesting to compare the much more 'calm' atmosphere of the King Zulu painting with the frenetic and aggressive vibe of Sterno. The opportunity to view these three artworks, created around the same period, under one roof should be taken if it is at all possible. With many items of Basquiat artwork now in private collections the chance to view and compare his works, under one roof, may nt be easily found.