Unreal Nature

October 3, 2014

Your Decision

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:40 am

… I don’t think I fully understand the process.

This first is from a 1980 interview with Katrina Martin, found in Jasper Johns: Writings, Sketchbook Notes, Interviews, edited by Kirk Varnedoe and compiled by Christel Hollevoet (1996):

[ … ]

Katrina Martin: See, I’m really asking maybe too broad a question, which is where does the image come from? How do you get an image where there wasn’t an image?

Jasper Johns: Well, this comes from a thought basically. … The thought has certain implications, you have to do a certain amount of work. … I’m always interested in the physical form of whatever I’m doing and often repeat an image in another physical form just to see what happens, what the difference is. And to see what it is that connects them and what it is that separates them. Because the experience of one is rarely the experience of the other, for me, at any rate.

Next is from a 1982 interview with Riki Simons:

[ … ]

JJ: Certain subjects impose themselves on you and others do not. It is a state of mind that makes you receptive to particular things that appear alive, lively, or interesting. I don’t know either what it is in someone’s personality and mind that determines whether one does this, or something else. The continuity of the logic is determined by something I know nothing about, that I’m not familiar with.

And soon as a subject draws me, possibilities emerge. So it’s an important event. You can’t just align all the possibilities in a row and then choose from them. You feel your decision is something necessary.

Next is from a 1986 interview with Gerald Marzorati:

[Johns] has made more than three hundred prints over the past twenty-six years. [ … ] He wonders if anyone sees what he sees when looking at his print, if anyone feels what he feels. “How can you be sure?” he says. “My own feelings can change about a work. Sometimes, when I’m working, I may feel a work has a certain … a certain spirit. But later I wonder how I ever had that feeling. I can remember having it, but can no longer feel it.”

Lastly, this is from a 1988 television documentary:

[ … ]

JJ [speaking of auction sales]: I don’t think I fully understand the process. When it begins, you’re pleased that you can make something and sell it. It allows you to devote yourself to the work that you want to do. As it expands, and the value of the work increases, at a certain point you see that the society takes over in the determination of the value of the work and the meaning of the work.

-Julie

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