We discover here a wealth of anatomical detail, with a face captured with parts of the body just below, with that section covering the left hand side of the composition. We then find signs of blood dripping down and a variety of weapons attached close by to body parts. Common Battle Wounds is then written at the bottom, explaining that the artist is using a diagram to explain different battle injuries in a humorous and unique style. Two more items of content are then added to the right hand side, one of which is accompanied by a relatively detailed explanation. The style is here is entirely cartoon-like and presumably the artist worked quickly to put this piece together, which was a way in which he connected with such a raw style and was a large part of his success.
The artist tackled hard topics within his work, covering issues that most others would prefer to avoid because of the awkwardness with which many would react. Those who understood his work and would really understand his paintings would be able to decipher these messages, and in some cases the iconic imagery would be clear enough for even the most casual viewer to understand. Certain topics were already understood as being of great concern to some communities within the US, such as policing, for example, and so this made it easier to capture the essence of some of his paintings fairly quickly. He would also use lettering within some which again helped his messaging to become a little more specific, with repetition of an artwork's title seen in many of his designs. He loved to express himself to the full and work at a fierce pace, though this was normal for this style of art.
Basquiat is most famous today for titles such as Obnoxious Liberals, Hollywood Africans and Untitled Boxer. His work was consistent in imagery and style, perhaps due to his relatively short life span in which he would not have felt the urge to experiment and evolve as much as those who have lived until their late 70s or 80s. Whilst we can mourn what might have happened if he had not have been taken so young, it is far more sensible to simply appreciate what this extraordinary man could achieve within the years that he did have, especially considering the difficulties that he experienced from a young age that would have prevented most from achieving anything like this level of fame and fortune. He would hold celebrity connections as his fame rose, but he remained true to himself in terms of his work and never diluted the messages that he inserted into his various compositions. Today artworks such as these are worth many millions of dollars, with valuations continuing to soar as new collectors become interested in his work.