Title Image - Quotes by Author Jean-Michel BasquiatPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Jean-Michel Basquiat. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat (French: [ʒɑ̃ miʃɛl baskja]; December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) was an American artist who rose to success during the 1980s. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he was part of the Neo-expressionism movement.

Basquiat first achieved fame as part of SAMO, a graffiti duo who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the late 1970s, where rap, punk, and street art coalesced into early hip-hop music culture. By the early 1980s, his paintings were being exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. At 21, Basquiat became the youngest artist to ever take part in documenta in Kassel. At 22, he was the youngest to exhibit at the Whitney Biennial in New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective of his art work in 1992.

Basquiat's art focused on dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. He appropriated poetry, drawing, and painting, and married text and image, abstraction, figuration, and historical information mixed with contemporary critique. He used social commentary in his paintings as a tool for introspection and for identifying with his experiences in the black community of his time, as well as attacks on power structures and systems of racism. His visual poetics were acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism and support for class struggle.

Since Basquiat's death at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose in 1988, his work has steadily increased in value. At a Sotheby's auction in May 2017, Untitled, a 1982 painting by Basquiat depicting a black skull with red and yellow rivulets, sold for $110.5 million, becoming one of the most expensive paintings ever purchased. It also set a new record high for an American artist at auction.

My favorite Twombly is 'Apollo and the Artist,' with the big 'Apollo' written across it.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I had very few friends. There was nobody I could trust. I left home when I was fifteen. I lived in Washington Square Park.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

My basic influence had probably been Peter Max.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I have a painting where somebody's holding a chicken, and underneath the chicken is somebody's head.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

If I'm away from painting for a week, I get bored.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

There are about 30 words around you all the time, like 'thread' or 'exit.'

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

The black person is the protagonist in most of my paintings. I realized that I didn't see many paintings with black people in them.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I have done only two portraits: one of the artist Francesco Clemente and another of Andy Warhol.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I wanted to build up a name for myself.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I am not a black artist, I am an artist.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I want to make paintings that look as if they were made by a child.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

Occasionally, when I get mad at a woman, I'll do some great, awful painting about her.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star. I'd think about all my heroes, Charlie Parker, Jimi Hendrix... I had a romantic feeling about how these people became famous.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist; or I'd draw a big ram's head, really messy. I'd never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect Spiderman.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I had some money, I made the best paintings ever. I was completely reclusive, worked a lot, took a lot of drugs. I was awful to people.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I'm not a real person. I'm a legend.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.

--Jean-Michel Basquiat

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