There’s something to be said for being in New York City, because you’re around so much art, and as a young person you’re trying to figure out well, how do I make art? How does Wangechi look like in art form? And you try all these different things. The classic thing is people do in their first year at school, is they do work that looks like Egon Schiele, they do paintings that look like Van Gogh.1 They do all the classics, and it’s sort of a typical — it’s like even babies do it when they’re learning language. They imitate first, and then they learn how to make up their own sentences and their own thoughts, and that’s what you do.2 Even in spite of all of that copying and then coming out of that, you still have to find a very distinct way of making art, because if you’re interested in being competitive with anyone else, I mean if you’re interested in standing out, if you’re interested in anybody else looking at your work, and you want — you want people to hear what you have to say, you have to find a very distinct visual and conceptual language.3

  1. Art School []
  2. Avoid Those Pitfalls, Louis Andriessen []
  3. Leprosy Stand []
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