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Best Jean-Michel Basquiat Quotes 2021

Jean-Michel Basquiat, born on 22 December 1960, had a global fan following and was much admired for his picturesque talent and artistic mind.

His contributions to the art world were tremendous, and he is known as a legendary artist worldwide. From making unknown graffiti images to gaining global recognition in a short period, Jean-Michel Basquiat always spoke wonders through his art.

He says he failed in his art course, yet it didn’t bother him much as he was quite clear on what he wanted from life and what he wanted to contribute to the world. Basquiat never cared about what critics would say about his art as he was in his own artistic world throughout. He left his family and friends to follow his dreams at a young age, but nothing comes for free in this world; Basquiat became a drug addict after a few years and had lost control of himself. On 12 August 1988, he was found dead in his loft from a drug overdose. His impact on the art world is still felt today.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Quotes

Jean Basquiat only listened to what art says and how it makes him feel. Jean-Michel Basquiat quotes tell us a lot about him. In this section, you can read what Basquiat thought about. Find out what art is through his quotes.

1. “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.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

3. “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.

4. “I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

6. “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.

Famous Jean-Michel Basquiat Quotes

Jean Michel Basquiat painting wall in his own graffiti style

Basquiat didn’t wait for critics to find his work interesting, he simply didn’t care. He continued working on his passion.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

8. “I thought I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was younger and then I changed to painting when I was about fifteen or so.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

9. “I start a picture and I finish it. I don’t think about art while I work. I try to think about life.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Love Quotes

Some of Basquiat's amazing work as an artist

These quotes by Jean-Michel Basquiat will make you fall in love with art and artists.

13. “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.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

15. “I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

17. “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.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Quotes On Creativity

Read famous Basquiat quotes in this section. It is all about the inspiration that he had to give to the world.

19. “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think your not.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

20. “I’m not a real person. I’m a legend.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

22. “The more I paint the more I like everything.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

23.  “Some days I can’t get an idea, and I think, ‘Man, I’m just washed up,’ but it’s just a mood.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

24. “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.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Painting Quotes

Jean Michel Basquiat quotes on art and paintings.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

27. “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.

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

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

29. “At that point, [an artist] was somebody who could draw, but my ideas have changed since then. Now I see an artist as something a lot broader than that.”

– Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jean-Michel Basquiat quotes on art

1. “I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.” 

Jean-Michel Basquiat

2. “I start a picture and I finish it. I don’t think about art while I work. I try to think about life.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

3. “Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

4. “I like kids’ work more than work by real artists any day.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

5. “My favorite Twombly is ‘Apollo and the Artist,’ with the big ‘Apollo’ written across it.”

6. “If you wanna talk about influence, man, then you’ve got to realize that influence is not influence. It’s simply someone’s idea going through my new mind.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

7. “SAMO as an end to mind wash religion, nowhere politics and bogus philosophy.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

8. “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.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat quotes on painting

9. “The more I paint the more I like everything.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

10. “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

11. “If I’m away from painting for a week, I get bored.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

12. “Occasionally, when I get mad at a woman, I’ll do some great, awful painting about her.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

13. “I have a painting where somebody’s holding a chicken, and underneath the chicken is somebody’s head.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

14. “I like to have information rather than just have a brushstroke. Just to have these words to put in these feelings underneath.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

15. “I was trying to communicate an idea; I was trying to paint a very urban landscape.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

16. “I was trying to make paintings different from the paintings that I saw a lot of at the time, which were mostly minimal, and they were highbrow and alienating, and I wanted to make very direct paintings that most people would feel the emotion behind when they saw them.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of painting quotes about the power of creating with color.

Jean-Michel Basquiat quotes on being an artist

17. “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

18. “I am not a black artist, I am an artist.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

19. “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

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of drug quotes on how drug use can affect your mind, body, and spirit.

20. “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

21. “I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

22. “I wanted to be a cartoonist when I was young.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

23. “I think there’s a lot of people that are neglected in art.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

24. “At that point, [an artist] was somebody who could draw, but my ideas have changed since then. Now I see an artist as something a lot broader than that.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat quotes about being a famous artist

25. “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

26. “Since I was seventeen I thought I might be a star.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

27. “I wanted to build up a name for myself.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

28. “I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

29. “Most Young Kings Get Their Heads Cut Off.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

More Jean-Michel Basquiat quotes

30. “Fire will attract more attention than any other cry for help.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

31. “There are about 30 words around you all the time, like ‘thread’ or ‘exit.’” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

32. “The country makes me more paranoid, you know? I think the crazy people out there are little crazier.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

33. “Every single line means something.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

34. “[Gray] was a noise band. I played a guitar with a file and a synthesizer. I was inspired by John Cage at the time – music that isn’t really music. We were trying to be incomplete, abrasive, oddly beautiful.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

35. “I enjoy that they think I’m a bad boy. I think it’s great.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat

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