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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Jean-Michel Basquiat and neo-expressionism


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, jpvargas

Photo license: CC BY-SA 2.0


Jean-Michel Basquait (1960-1988) was an American artist best known for his contributions to neo-expressionism. Musician David Bowie said,


"He seemed to digest the frenetic flow of passing image and experience, put them through some kind of internal reorganization and dress canvas with his resultant network of chance." (Quoted in Bowie, Bach and Bebop: How music powered Basquiat by the Independent)


Art curator Marc Mayer said,


"Quantifying the encyclopedic breadth of his research certainly results in an interesting inventory, but the sum cannot adequately explain his pictures, which requires an effort outside the purview of iconography... He painted a calculated incoherence calibrating the mystery of what such apparently meaning-laden pictures might ultimately mean." (Basquiat, 2005)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Basquiat.




"Some days I can't get an idea and I think, 'Man, I'm just washed up' but its just a mood." (


"I don't think about art while I work... I try to think about life." (Quoted in Jean-Michel Basquiat on How to be an Artist by


"I'm just an autodidact who would like to be part of the family of artists." (Quoted in Debunking Basquiat's Myths by Lorena Munoz-Alonso)




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




"I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot." (


"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." (