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Question 18: What is your purpose in art-making?
The more I work the less I try to attain goals relating to big dreams, the more I seek a kind of serenity, of pleasure. I now realize that entering a studio is a way of having a pleasant time, of reflecting on society, reflecting on why we exist, ourselves as individuals, and the purpose of society. It’s a pleasant way to do it. As I get older, I have a more serene way of producing, and I try to say no to things that I don’t feel like doing in my work, and to say yes every time I feel like being in my studio, and if it really is a pleasure, then go for it, go work in the studio, that’s the important moment. In the last few years I’ve refused a lot of exhibits, occasions of that nature, because I don’t want to get stressed over the creation. I don’t want to say: Ok, I’m going to book myself an exhibit and I will do everything possible to make it by that date, to the detriment of becoming a type of machine that has to produce. To say: if my pace in production is such, if it takes me a week to cut this wood and if cutting that wood brings me pleasure for a week, then that’s the avenue I should take. I try to tell myself: there are no laws saying an artist should do this, an artist should… An artist has to listen to himself and say: Maybe this is what’s important. I saw an artist, Lygia Selman, who produced this piece. She was painting the firmament, a part of the firmament. I think it took her years to do this painting of the firmament. Each star was represented; each star in the firmament was meticulously worked and reworked. It was a small painting less than a few feet, about a foot and a few inches long. I asked myself, How can she have worked on this for a year? But if she has this pleasure… She said, When I recreate this firmament, I always notice one star that didn’t get the proper treatment. So nowadays I like to go into my studio with a bit of this philosophy: If one piece takes all this time, it’s not important to have ten pieces at the end of the year, it’s important to have one that made me happy and where I’m satisfied with the result.