This painting is now a part of a private collection, with most of the artist's late artworks being purchased privately by a number of different collectors. Those investments would now promise large profits, with his work having risen considerably in value in recent years. Political and social issues were important to Basquiat and we find that again here with Caucasian, Negro which compares the two main races at that time within the US, with the artist making a statement about their relative situations within society. We find the two figures that represent them in the bottom of the artwork, with both labelled suitably. The artist then inserts a huge number of shapes and designs across another part of the composition, each with ingenious, almost mechanical drawings that provide a curious detail to this piece.
Many unfamiliar with his paintings will often be left looking for clues as to the meanings found in this artist's work. Thankfully, Basquiat was very generous in how he left behind countless clues, some of which were textual content, but even then we might be left confused as to their precise meaning. Experts in his life and career can help us out there, though, partly by understanding other related artworks that used a consistent set of imagery across multiple pieces. Basquiat also sat down and discussed these meanings himself from time to time, and so we have good records about the overall style, if not necessarily the work in each specific painting.
This was an artist whose legacy grew after his death and the recent increased interest in black art across the western world has also allowed his work to receive a more intense focus, just as it certainly deserves. He was ahead of his time in many ways, both technically but also in the content and themes that he used which are just as relevant today as ever, perhaps even more so. Thankfully he was able to overcome his personal problems for long enough to put together an impressive body of work which helped the city of New York to lead the international art world for several decades, in conjunction with some other notable names, some of whom he shared friendships with.