"Throughout his career Basquiat focused on "suggestive dichotomies," such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. Basquiat's art utilized a synergy of appropriation, poetry, drawing and painting, which married text and image, abstraction and figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique. Utilizing social commentary as a "springboard to deeper truths about the individual", Basquiat's paintings also attacked power structures and systems of racism, while his poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle"
Basquiat has changed the way we look at the canvas like no other artist of the 20th Century. Unlike Warhol, Basquiat created something, he was an artist with a message, with a voice who attempted to show society its strengths and weaknesses in a new light. He made the question of racism, injustice, financial inequality something that one could ponder without feeling repelled - he bridged the gap between poet, philosopher, civil libertarian, fashion, glamour and the cultural elite. The financial inequality he observed in New York Society was something that was not the voice of an impoverished inner city youth as he had a diplomat father and tasted the world of the elite while surrounded by the people in Warhol' entourage. - Hanss von Richter