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Question 10: Are there recurring themes or subjects in your art?
The theme that I have to resist most often is reacting to the misery in the world, call it political or social injustice. But in the 1970s, I created quite a few of works in that line. Sometimes you almost get the message that while it’s nice to exhibit them once in a while, you must put them back in the basement. At a certain point, when you know your works won’t be seen… in music, in the field of performing arts, works with a social message will be distributed. Whereas in visual arts, given that the art is in the realm of silence, a growling silence... there’s a limit to what we can create. This leads me to ask: If a man or a woman was alone on an island, and knew that no one would have a chance to see what they had created, would they even create that work of art? In other words it still takes an audience. That’s where pleasure comes in, to a certain degree, and the encouragement needed to continue producing. I don’t necessarily have themes but rather work methods, such as direct carving, that give me all sorts of options in dealing with the animal or human figure. There’s also drawing, which may be on oversized paper, with a calligraphy treatment, quite transparent… And then there is religious art; from time to time, there are projects that may be asked of me, even if it’s very rare today. It seems that everything is mass-produced by merchants. I presently have a project that offers me a new challenge: large mosaic murals. It looks like this will broaden my horizon. And then, there’s always the issue of salvaging materials. Materials that are nice enough, or impressive enough to be worth rescuing from the dump.