Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.
awarded 2010 Medal of Freedom
Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it. Do something else to it.
I assumed that everything would lead to complete failure, but I decided that didn’t matter – that would be my life.
The thing is, if you believe in the unconscious -and I do – there’s room for all kinds of possibilities that I don’t know how you prove one way or another.
I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don’t think that’s a painter’s business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason.
Sometimes I see it and then paint it. Other times I paint it and then see it. Both are impure situations, and I prefer neither.
In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn’t know what that meant.
As one gets older one sees many more paths that could be taken. Artists sense within their own work that kind of swelling of possibilities, which may seem a freedom or a confusion.
To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.
In my early work, I tried to hide my personality, my psychological state, my emotions. This was partly due to my feelings about myself and party due to my feelings about painting at the time. I sort of stuck to my guns for a while but eventually it seemed like a losing battle. Finally one must simply drop the reserve.
Whatever I do seems artificial and false, to me.