Jean-Michel Basquiat would sometimes produce sketches which offered us a visual representation of his inner-mind, without any attempt to tailor it in any way to allow us to better understand what we were looking at. As such, we must take some time to consider all of the different elements of this complex piece, which includes a portrait to the left hand side as well as large amounts of text that covers seemingly random different topics. There is also the artist's trademark logo of a crown, just above the word "Egypt". There is then a pyramid with a giant eye stretched across the top section and also some discussion of a group of stockbrokers. Basquiat would often speak out against the rich and in support of the poor, but some of the elements in his work would be so obscure that it is tricky to discuss their meaning without any real confidence.
This artwork is around 50cm tall and wide, meaning it may have come from a high quality artist sketchbook, with the sleeve of paper removed and kept separately. The book originally may have had several practice sketches as he tried out different ideas from the depths of his imagination prior to completing this piece. His style, Neo-Expressionist, can be hard for purists to embrace but younger generations tend to appreciate work such as this and will naturally warm to all manner of artists from across the 20th century, where as older audiences maybe a little more interested in studying the old masters from centuries past. Basquiat was actually very interested in traditional art such as from the Italian Renaissance, but he just wanted to work in a very different manner within his own career.
Despite the large number of his paintings that were acquired privately, there is still a good number that can be visited in person in public collections, mostly within the artist's native United States. As his reputation continues to strengthen, there may yet be more items that fall into the hands of institutions such as this, particularly because large parts of their permanent displays have been acquired from generous donations from local collectors, dating back many decadeds. In the future, there may be items from Basquiat that arrive from the same routes.