My childhood is more hick than I could ever possibly relate to you, and also more intellectual than you would ever expect. For instance, me and my sister, when we were little, we would compete to see who could eat the most squirrel brains.
My grandfather was a healer, and he used matches often. Once, he burnt a wart off my finger and then rubbed the ash deep into it, and it never did come back. When he worked at a factory, people would line up next to his truck to be healed. He died before he could teach us any of his secrets.
I imagine explaining a work of art to my grandmother in five minutes, and if I can't explain it in five minutes, then it's too obtuse or esoteric.
The way I grew up, everyone knew how to cook, sew... carpentry.
If dark matter and dark energy are 95 percent of everything, shouldn't we all be asking questions about that? What does that look like?
It's an audacious thing to build a model of the cosmos. It's exciting how little we know.
For me, art is make-believe. It's enchantment. It's a fable. I'm enjoying that and playing with it. Of course it's serious, and art is serious, but I'm not going to rarefy it.
I like the idea that paintings are not representations of an artist's psyche. Making the paintings is what gives the artist her psyche in the first place.
I think that an artist should be a skilled craftsman.
I'm interested in the essence of things. If you pare things down, what's left? It's like I'm trying to describe the soul to an alien.
Where I grew up, there was a mysticism and creativity to everything. Everyone made things with their hands.
Great art would have 'head': it would have interesting intellectual ideas and concepts. It would have 'heart' in that it would have passion and heart and soul. And it would have 'hand' in that it would be greatly crafted.
How do you show what's not there? How do you show energy?
I love drawing on lead. Romans used to curse each other with sheets of it. My slave would come slide the sheet under your door with a curse on it. They had amazing writing and drawings on them, and they survive to this day since lead is so stable.
I thought, 'A biennial needs artists. I'm going to do an international biennial; I need artists from all around the world.' So what I did was I invented a hundred artists from around the world. I figured out their bios, their passions in life and their art styles, and I started making their work.
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