The painting has an image of a nude male with long, dreadlocked hair which is intertwined with a halo. The young artist is depicting himself as vulnerable, while still being proud.
The man’s arms are positioned across his chest which suggests self-surrender. It When people analyse the painting they say the picture is portraying the man as being at peace with himself even when he is immersed in upheavals and death.
Even though Basquiat's use of a halo provides a spiritual aspect to his work, this changed later to a 3-pointed crown which made appearances throughout the artist's career. He died of a drug overdose at the age of 27.
Born in New York in 1960, Jean-Michel Basquiat was still a child when he showed a talent for art and by age 6 his mom enrolled him at the Brooklyn Museum.
As he matured, he became known as a street-smart graffiti artist, rising further to become a celebrated Neo-Expressionism artist. It was in Lower Manhattan that he started spray painting graffiti on buildings and in 1978 he started working in the art department of the Unique Clothing Warehouse.
As a graffiti artist, Basquiat was known to often include words into his paintings. At first, he produced punk-inspired postcards to sell, becoming known for his political–poetical graffiti under the name of SAMO. His paintings aren't only covered with words, but with letters, numbers, logos and symbols.
The young American artist's neo-expressionist paintings started being exhibited in galleries and museums in the 1980s, with his art focusing on the likes of wealth versus poverty and segregation.
In fact, an important reference source used by the artist during his career was the book his mother gave him - Gray's Anatomy. This book influenced his renditions. The artist doodled often as well, an aspect which is seen in some of his later pieces.
One notable aspect of the painter was that he was known to often paint in expensive Armani suits, not caring to appear in public with his paint-spattered clothing.
At the prompting of Swiss dealer Bruno Bischofberger, he worked on a series of paintings between 1983 and 1985. It was in May of 2016 that Basquiat's Untitled had a record-breaking sale at Christie's, when the painting went for a price of $57,285,000.