The particular piece features more textual content than almost any of his other cartoon-like pieces. We find a mass of energetic content, all inter-related with arrows, lines and diagrams akin to a biology textbook. The artist would never make things to easy for us though, and the information is stil relatively abstract and some time is needed to make sense of it all. We find references to the Roman Empire, Per Capita and several different materials such as bronze and silver which leans us to this being one of the artist's paintings that focused on events from history, with a view to today's politics. Basquiat himself was vocal on issues in society within his paintings, but further research is needed here to get a precise understanding of the composition found in front of us here.
Basquiat loved to plan his ideas and then work quickly on canvas, connecting with the subconscious just as the European surrealists had done many years earlier. It was therefore about conscious ideas, and delivering them in an expressive manner, without too much concern about how each of these items actually looks. He would add wording, including quotes sometimes, in order to reference specific things. Other common items, such as his heads, or other anatomical items, would then mean similar things wherever they were used, which those familiar to his work would immediately be able to understand. The stylistic approach was also consistent, partly because he would not have the length of career of other artists, and so didn't feel the need to reinvent himself as his career progressed across many decades as found with other famous creatives.
Some of this artist's best known works included In Italian, Dustheads and Riding with Death. He used a variety of media across his career, meaning his drawings and paintings would have considerable cross-over in terms of the tools that he used. This is entirely typical of modern art, where restricting oneself to charcoal, egg tempera or oils is relatively rare. Basquiat also loved the use of oil pens which seemed to suit his style of work, where he would regularly use words and phrases, sometimes even quotes within sprawling, chaotic scenes that would take most people quite some time to accurately decipher. Basquiat was certainly a free spirit, working relatively free of traditional constraints and attempting to produce a career which represented his own mind, rather than one influenced by academics or traditional ways of thinking and working which he was determined to move away from, seeing them as he did as foreign to his own background and culture.