Home > Art Blog > Basquiat Quotes

Basquiat Quotes

Basquiat Quotes

A selection of poignant Basquiat quotes about making art, painting, being an artist and being a famous artist:


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

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

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

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


Basquiat Quotes
Hollywood Africans In Front Of The Chinese Theater, 1983, Jean-Michel Basquiat


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

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

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

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

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


Basquiat Quotes
Wolf Sausage, 2019, Jean-Michel Basquiat


“Every single line means something.”

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

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

“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.”

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


Basquiat Quotes
Cabeza, 1984, Jean-Michel Basquiat


“The black person is the protagonist in most of my paintings. I realised that I didn’t see many paintings with black people in them.”

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

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

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


Jean-Michel Basquiat prints

View prints by Jean-Michel Basquiat here.