Daivd Hockney is not Jewish, 2011,oil on linen, 165 x 165 cm
What are you working on in your studio right now?
Right now I’m working on seven works on linen. Two 165 x 165 cm, and five 100 x 100. The subject of the works does not really have anything to do with one another. One is called Tent City, one is a transcription, or what I like to call “re-mix” of a Piero della Francesca fresco, one is called Murder and just a bunch of marks with a plant of top of them, etc. I’m really just letting the works define themselves here. I’m after a big show here in Tel Aviv, so these are transitional works.
When I finish these I will be making three 200 x 250 works for a project called Allegory of the Daily Desperation of Indifference. One will be of my shrink’s clinic, one of my local post office, and one of my living room as seen from the outside.
Adoration of the wood, queen sheba in the studio
Can you describe your working routine?
I’m in the studio five days a week, at least ten hours every day. Every day I fight myself to begin to work. Beginning is always hard. Every morning the same story. I work in projects and groups of works. Its very rare that I’ll be working on one individual work. I just don’t think like that. Music and coffee help.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My studio is 80 meters in size. North light. Third and top floor in a building that now has allot of artists. Probably the worst neighborhood in Tel Aviv, but I love it. Yeah, the studio really affects my work. I’m always moving things around, the tables, the works, everything. Its never as organized as I would like, and sometimes it gets so messy and crazy that its insane. The studio is my savior.
Installation of drawings from
"FIRST WE FEEL THEN WE FALL" exhibition,
Alon Segev gallery, Tel Aviv
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
My process begins with little sparks. Little things that really excite me. These come from walking down the street and seeing how a woman walks, seeing a few colors in a new relation, an image, a plant, a film, something from the internet, something sensual. Usually a feeling, rather than an idea. Then I start. I try to sustain that first spark, that first feeling of terror which was obsessed by some form of beauty, some form of gesture. In the beginning, I’m certain that the painting/s will take a week to do, and somehow that’s never the case. They get layered with opposing languages, images, and conceptions. And that begins another round of excitement. An excitement of how painting needs to have irreconcilable forces in it. The process is very difficult to describe, but usually when I finish a work/s I get sick for a few days. The end tears me apart.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
Everything. Everything is in question. Size, format, orientation, forms, color, subject, thought, idea, formally executing the work... Everything gives me trouble and unease. In fact, when it gets easy, then I get depressed and start to worry. So in that respect its really a lose/lose situation. Every six months I feel like only now am I starting to make work that is really the work I want to be making, and then three months later, I look back, and have no idea how I did previous works. Just a few days ago I looked at a painting I did of a boat and had no idea how I did it.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
Mainly, I work oil on linen, or birch wood. I would like to do more sculpture, and by sculpture I mean painting on forms of birch wood. But, yes, mainly oil on linen. In the past two years I prefer square or just off square. The parameter is very important.
What does the future hold for this work?
The future holds more impossibilities. I always go back to this line by David Foster Wallace (speaking on Kafka) : That the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey home is in fact our home. Meaning, there is not going to be some point when, AHHHH, I’ve made it. It’s never going to be easy, nothing is ever going to be easy. My work will never really give me satisfaction. This is it.
This is not some empty trajectory to a ‘place’. This here is the place. All I want is to continue working, and to be able to keep all of these problems. And coffee and music (and a few other things) make it all a little easier.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Not really, maybe later.
Bus in Italy, 2011, oil on linen, 190 x 190 cm