April 2021 Non-Fiction Backlist Highlights


Basquiat-isms Jean-Michel Basquiat, edited by Larry Warsh


Jean-Michel Basquiat, edited by Larry Warsh

Hardback (B315) | Aug 2019 | Princeton University Press | 9780691192833 | 144pp | 133x107mm | GEN | AUD$22.99, NZD$27.99

A collection of essential quotations and other writings from artist and icon Jean-Michel Basquiat 

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 recognisable 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 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.'
  • 'I think I make art for myself, but ultimately I think I make it for the world.'
  • 'The more I paint the more I like everything.'

'As an artist, the most precious thing is what's in the mind. Basquiat's sentences in this book are so delicate and not wasted. They show his inner world truthfully and precisely, why he was a unique person and a unique artist. I love this book.' — Ai Weiwei