Jean-Michel Basquiat Quotes

Who is Jean-Michel Basquiat?

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent. He is known for his graffiti art and his paintings.

Basquiat died young from a heroin overdose and is part of the 27 Club.

Born December 22, 1960
Died August 12, 1988

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Best 31 Quotes by Jean-Michel Basquiat | Page 1 of 2

“Believe it or not, I can actually draw.”

“Every single line means something.”

“Fire will attract more attention than any other cry for help.”

“Graffiti has a lot of rules in it as to what you can do and what you can’t do, and I think it’s hard to make art under those conditions.”

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

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

“I enjoy that they think I’m a bad boy. I think it’s great.”

“I gotta get out of New York; I hate it. There's no heroin in Hawaii, and it's so beautiful you don't even think about it.”

“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.”

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

“I left home at 15, and went to Washington Square Park. I just sat there dropping acid... Now that all seems boring; it eats your mind up.”

“I like kids' work more than work by real artists any day.”

“I like to have information rather than just have a brushstroke. Just to have these words to put in these feelings underneath.”

“I never went to an art school. I failed the art courses that I did take in school. I just looked at a lot of things. And that’s how I learnt about art, by looking at it.”

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“I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life.”

“I think there’s a lot of people that are neglected in art.”

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“I paint in order not to cry.”


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

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

“I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was young.”

“I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.”

“I wanted to build up a name for myself.”

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

“I'd say my mother gave me all the primary things. The art came from her.”

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

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

“If you wanna talk about influence, man, then you’ve got to realise that influence is not influence. It’s simply someone’s idea going through my new mind.”

“Medicine men live in caves.”

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

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“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.”

“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.”

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“Cannoniers to your guns! Brace at your batteries! Blast night and day… Art clears a path by means of cannon shots.”


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