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Question 11: Which artists or artistic styles have influenced you? How does this play out, in concrete terms?
Oh my god, I was influenced by a lot of people. I even think that I copied everyone. I called these pieces tributes: Tribute to Picasso, Tribute to Rauschenberg, Tribute to Jasper Jones, Tribute to Twombley, people who have greatly impressed me, interested me. The work of Jasper Jones has had a large influence on me, the work of Joseph Beuys, of Twombley, I find they are artists that have shaped the latter half of the 20th century, that is the half when I received most of my training. But there are also other artists such as Rauschenberg for instance, who was a major artist for me. When I was younger, people such as Soulages, whose work I rediscovered later. But otherwise there were several. Formerly an artist trained by going to a museum and copying classical works. You copied plasters or you copied… The other day I was in Berlin and there was an artist with his easel copying a Botticelli. And it was quite impressive because the copy was really very good. But I think that’s a way of learning techniques. But here we don’t have those museums, so art magazines serve as our museums. So you see works by Rauschenberg, whose pieces are often monumental but sometimes quite small, but we don’t experience the size. But these works are an inspiration nevertheless. So what we do is similar to what artists have always done over the ages, that is to copy, make reproductions, try to emulate a style. That is something I’ve done often. Many, many artists have had an influence on me.