Have you ever wondered if Modern Art is a product of un-intelligible insanity or is intentionally produced to degrade the human spirit so it is left hungry and hopeless.
Since the 1960s Western societies have become increasingly less religious and less homogenous while increasingly more feminized and more atomized.
This is why artist recognition is ever more determined by affirmative action type of criteria rather than genuine artistic talent.
This is also why the value of an artwork is guaged by the preponderance of emotional feelings it provokes rather than having to satisfy the expectations of a critical eye cast upon it.
Art value today is derived simply from the reaction it can create. Works could be created to uplift but repulsion and the perverse celebration of debauchery is stronger and more memorable.
Success today is determined not by any particular skill (or in most cases lack thereof) but by the mere fact that more can be derived out of a piece of art emotionally than any time and talent that actually went into creating it physically.
Also, an artworks' monetary value (with headline grabbing amounts reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars) only reflects what collectors place it at rather than the public at large. Art collectors typically have very little in common with the public at large.
Multi-million dollar amounts would only be problematic if public funds were used to buy such works and display them in public galleries or museums when there is no public interest in them.
Collectors and historians also attach more to a work of art than what even the artist may have been thinking or feeling at the time. Art reflects eras. In the case of Basquiat and others from his libertine generation it was a statement of the complete rejection of traditional European styles of artistry.
Some today would still regard Basquiat as anti-establishment. But since America was the leading post-war economic and military superpower it would be fair to say that Basquiat and his ilk simply created generational milestones for the new status quo at the time.
As time goes on, his and his generations' artworks won't simply be regarded as infantile, unskilled and degenerate. They will be seen as examples of American pop culture, of Western mercantilism, and of 60s-era "values".
And just like how Basquiat & Co. rejected tradition and convention in their day so too will they be rejected by future generations.