Morandi not Picasso. Twombly not Johns, not Rauschenberg. Billie Holiday not Ella Fitzgerald. Nina Simone. Monk not Evans. Henry Roth not Philip Roth. Agnes Martin. Al Jensen not Judd. Marcel Proust. Walt Whitman. Artaud.
The artists who are important to me are bolts of lightning. They're solitary, singular, in a way unexplainable because they appear unpredictable, imagining things that only they could have imagined. They're simpler in a way than their contemporaries, because they made a decision, or had the decision forced on them, to do only what they could do. Through uncertainty and honest interrogation of themselves, and ultimately through the confidence of real modesty, they create themselves from their own imaginations, their work is in the best sense selfish. It responds to some innate drive to invent themselves, to invent their work as a unified, integrated whole, possibly a completion of themselves. The artists I like cultivate themselves; they mine themselves, they make art out of what is at hand: themselves. They're part of their times, to be sure, and they're involved and aware (in other words they don't cultivate ignorance), but they