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Question 9: What do you find inspiring as an artist?

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I’m inspired by a number of things. It can be a colour. I did an exhibit once based on a colour, it was ultramarine that I just love, the colour of the sea in autumn. I always find it such a strong colour, and so dramatic as well. So that was an inspiration. Reproductions are among the things that have inspired me. I was always fascinated by reproductions in dictionaries. Another thing is the usually idiotic instructions that you get: how to assemble a piece of furniture, things like that. I’ve always found this interesting; often it’s in the vernacular, that is, it comes from popular culture. I find that very inspiring. As well as cut-outs, from plywood, that people make. At one point I started including these in my pieces, things such as plywood animals or the like. I think that at one point – I’ve spent years studying art – and I realised that everything I was doing looked like someone else’s, like other pieces. I would complete a work, then realise: Oh, it looks like Mirò. I’d do something else, Marcel Duchamp has done this already. So at one point I had to tell myself: At the time that I was a child, I’ve had aesthetic experiences that were interesting. For example, our neighbour had decided one year to make animal shapes out of plywood. When I saw that it was as if he was Michelangelo. Because you’re a kid and you’ve never seen anything, you see something like that and say. That’s fantastic, he managed to create this from nothing, from a piece of plywood he made an animal. This was, I find, an aesthetic experience, that is a moment in my life where I said to myself: That’s really beautiful. I think that aesthetics, and what we do in art, it’s beauty that concerns artists. While beauty may not be a form of perfection, what I find is that it is deeply connected to truth. For instance Picasso’s crying woman, that’s not a beautiful painting but it is a painting that is true. So that way, I found that the work he had done, his plywood animal cut outs, I found they had sincerity. That is what has always appealed to me in popular art, the sincerity with which people work at their pieces. I find that very inspiring.