There are elements of collage work in this piece, with photocopies of various texts attached to the painting. We find a large black figure in the centre of the piece who one can immediately identify as the leading element. There are then various scribbles and flourishes from within the style of graffiti art, with a randomness built in automatically as the artist attempts to truly express himself. There is a freedom which relates to the early Expressionists artists from many years before, but now we are living within an even more abstract where the connection to reality is even looser. This is typical of the 20th century, a period in which art would change to a remarkable degree, with new ideas pushing things into all manner of new directions. Basquiat was joining this movement towards the end of its evolution, but his unique ideas and background made it a highly valuable contribution.
Some experts have claimed this piece to represent pain, with some drips of paint signifying the trickle of blood. Basquiat would often focus on problems in society and so negative atmospheres were frequently present. La Colomba translates as The Dove from Italian and so perhaps there is a reference to peace within this artwork. There may also be olive branches included within the piece as well, which backs up that feeling. The main figure, of course, seems a long way from any feeling of peace. Basquiat loved to make use of symbolic elements within his paintings, some of which would appear again and again, but sometimes it would be a little harder to exactly pinpoint any meanings without the help of the artist himself.
Today the artist is rightly regarded as one of the most important American artists in history and he also helped to offer something different, both stylistically but also in terms of coming from a different angle and perspective. Exhibitions of his work are frequent and younger generations seem particularly interested in his work, with an online presence being particularly strong. He was anti-establishment and that always proves popular with younger generations and his alternative background is also very important for its inclusion today.