One of the most important artists of the late twentieth century, Jean-Michel Basquiat explored the interplay of words and images throughout his career as a celebrated painter with an instantly recognizable style. In his paintings, notebooks, and interviews, he showed himself to be a powerful and creative writer and speaker as well as image-maker. Basquiat-isms is a collection of essential quotations from this godfather of urban culture. In these brief, compelling, and memorable selections, taken from his interviews as well as his visual and written works, Basquiat writes and speaks about culture, his artistic persona, the art world, artistic influence, race, urban life, and many other subjects. Concise, direct, forceful, poetic, and enigmatic, Basquiat’s words, like his art, continue to resonate.
Select quotations from the book:
- “I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.”
- “I think there are a lot of people that are neglected in art, I don’t know if it’s because of who made the paintings or what, but, um … black people are never really portrayed realistically or I mean not even portrayed in modern art.”
- “Since I was 17, I thought I might be a star.”
- “The more I paint the more I like everything.”
- “I think I make art for myself, but ultimately I think I make it for the world.”