The artist would regularly focus on various themes within his work, with racial issues being particularly common, presumably because they were prominent factors in his own life. You will find different races mentioned in his work, though normally there will be an abstact presentation of his ideas which therefore requires some careful study in order to fully understand the messages that he is sending out. The King brand is placed within the centre of the composition, written loosely below a crown. He would often re-invent kings and queens within his own world of art and celebrity, encouraging us to think of members of his own community as members of a new monarchy. It represented power and influence and he also spoke out about regregation and poverty many times. He would see the specific battle as being Caucasian and Black communities, the former being the holder of wealth at that time in the 1980s, just as had been the case for many centuries.
Of course, the artist's outlook was entirely influenced by his life in New York, and the US more generally and so graffiti artists elsewhere may well have come up with slightly different messaging. The nation was engulfed in racial issues then, just as it is today, but Basquiat was one of the few to be able to present ideas from the perspective of his community, as most prominent artists in the US were white. Interestingly, there is actually a New York gallery which is currently offering limited edition prints of King Brand online, which may well be of interest for those looking to add some valuable art to the walls of their home. There remains a huge interest in the career of this artist, perhaps even growing year on year today due to the changes in societal taste and the increased focus on artists from minority backgrounds.
King Brand features doodle-like details which leave a wealth of detail and interest which takes time to absorb. Followers of the artist will recognise elements from other paintings fairly quickly, but other additions will be a little more obscure. Repetition of particular words is a technique the artist used regularly, and here we find the word Babylonians written many times over. We also see various parts of the body, including a foot, heart and a brain, all of which would be used for symbolic purposes. There are also blocks of black paint in a seemingly random fashion which is typical of a graffiti style art, where freedom and creativity come very much to the fore.