They capture the viewer's attention since they are in the center of the painting while in the spray of an open fire hydrant. The painting is rich in colors which suggest warm colors symbolizing the season of summer and the blazing landscape behind. Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump artwork illustrates Jean-Michel Basquiat's contemporary style of neo-expressionism which he combined with primitivism. The young skeletal boy alludes to the artist's representation of black figures and his dog has been painted using strong and rapid brushstrokes. This technique was favored by neo-expressionist artists and Jean-Michel Basquiat showcased his mastery of the brushstrokes using this painting.
This artwork is a description of Jean-Michel Basquiat's early life, having been born and raised in New York open fire hydrants were a common sight in the summer and he was reminiscing on the good old days. This artwork showcases his use of graffiti style and through his use of jagged lines he was able to produce figures with identifiable key elements. Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump artwork are similar to his other artworks since the skeletal boy's hair is three-pointed. This depicts black people as kings and the freedom they enjoy even in their simple lives.
The theme of this artwork passes clear messages on social issues such as racism and slavery in the city of New York and the greater US. Jean-Michel Basquiat is celebrated for making street poetry and pop culture to be showcased all over the globe and by so doing they received a massive following. Having drawn so much influence from the graffiti style he gave back to this style by making it be embraced and gave it much significance in fine art galleries. Similar to his other artworks this painting received so much criticism for making the figures unliving due to their distorted shapes and they are only skeletal figures. However, this did not affect the Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump painting because it was his second-highest-paid artwork that was sold for millions of dollars. Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump artwork dates back when Basquiat had reached the zenith of his talent and career.