There is the rough effect throughout this piece which reminds us of the artist's background and how he would use graffiti around New York in his early years. He was even homeless for a period, and then couch-surfing with friends as his struggles continued. The result of these troubled times were the style that is presented to us here, and against all the odds he was able to get it featured within relatively formal galleries. Eventually he would build a reputation and continue to expand on his output, drawing in more and more support as he continued to evolve. His background would unfortuantely hold him back just as much as it inspired him, and must have contributed to his unhealthy lifestyle which went hand in hand with his situation at the time.
Life as an artist can be trying, with little money at the start of their careers and also a large amount of rejection until the point is reached at which success starts to form. One can take many years trying to find the right style that can prove popular, perhaps never even finding it. For Basquiat, it was less about success and more about self-expression and communicating important issues. He wanted others to learn and listen about his life and the communities in which he lived. This brought about a high level of integrity which was then able to bring success as he continued to work in the way that he wanted, refusing to formalise his approach to make it more palatable to any dissenting voices. Ultimately, his talent would show through and eventually succeed, making the years of struggle entirely worthwhile. That said, it is unfortunate that he was not able to enjoy the years of success for a little longer than he did.
Famous paintings by this artist include King Alphonso, In this Case and Philistines. Basquiat would vary his use of materials and tools, always looking for different combinations that could bring different results. Mixed media was common around that time, just as it is today, and this really contrasts with art centuries ago in which an artist might only use oils, along with some liquids to vary its opaqueness. Many artists would exchange ideas and materials within shared studios and often preferred working in this collaborative manner in the earlier stages of their career. Basquiat was very much his own man, and this strength of character was important as he took on various challenges and barriers that lie in his way as he progressed through his career to become, ultimately, one of the most famous artists in American history.