This painting is dated at 1988 and was produced using acrylic and crayon on canvas. Basquiat loved to try out different mediums during his career and would frequently mix them together within the same artwork. This particular piece is believed to now be a part of a private collection and this is the case for many of his later works. Anyone fortunate enough to have purchased them soon after his passing will now have made a huge profit as his work has risen in value exponentially over the past three decades. Part of this is the greater acceptance of modern art but also the prominence of black artists in recent years, who had previously been ignored by many art galleries and museums before public pressure and more general changes in society has allowed a more diverse selection of artists to start to receive a media focus.
Basquiat liked to promote the causes of his community within his work and considered himself particularly fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to speak to a global audience through his work. At this stage, New York was the spearhead of international art, with a particular strength in modern art and Basquiat was playing a key role within that. He was particularly vocal on police violence and also had the more general desire of equal opportunities for all. In recent years the media has caught up with such ideas, finally, and this has ensured that many in the younger generation have come across his work for the first time. His acceptance by academics also helped open the way for other African American artists to follow, even though in most occasions he only wanted to be considered as an artist, rather than having his identity mentioned alongside that.
Looking back all these years later, it is incredible to consider what this artist achieved, when we look into the difficulties that he came up against across his lifetime. His biggest barriers were probably within his own mind, as he experienced mental health issues which were worsened by some of his lifestyle choices. Additionally, many within the art community were not yet willing to accept someone of his background and so he was not offered quite the same opportunities as his white middle class colleagues. He also came from a poor background and was even homeless for a period of time.