POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Randy Kennedy wrote a great piece in the New York Times last week about conceptual artist William Furlong, a man who’s spent the last 30 plus years recording artists in their studios. What I wouldn’t do to have access to that entire archive! According to Kennedy, Phaidon Press has published Speaking of Art: Four Decades of Art in Conversation (Cookery) which contains a fraction of the conversations he’s had over the years, and the Tate Britain has four hours worth on their website. The Tate acquired the entire archive in 2004, which means us New Yorkers will have to take a bit of a field trip to get a better listen.
For those readers not likely to make it out to London in the near future Kennedy provides a few choice highlights,
A 1993 talk with Richard Serra wanders onto his favorite material — Cor-Ten steel — and Mr. Serra seizes the opportunity to castigate his sculptural predecessors, from Picasso to Calder, for using steel as “the handmaiden to painting” instead of using it for its intrinsic qualities. James Rosenquist, prodded in 2006 about how he gets his ideas, says, “I'm not going to tell you my secrets” and then boasts that what he has in the works will “blow everyone's socks off.” Sarah Lucas, amid talk of androgyny and Surrealism, mentions that she does not feel comfortable wearing floral prints. A 2003 audience with Damien Hirst somehow finds its way to Mr. Hirst's mother.
Better is the bit where Hirst explains that he got to the “top” because it’s just not very high. This kind of statement has the ring of false modesty, because of course, he’s still saying that all his success is deserved. I disagree.