(symbol pictures)


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Abstract from an interview by

Andreas REITER RAABEwith Franz WEST

You select before you have decided

How does art come into being? Is it developed deliberately, or is the artist a henchman of demand?

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A.R.R.: Even so, I have the impression that the form comes more easily to you than the colour, the paint, the painting?

FW.: I no longer get around to the shapes. I now have more assistants than work, and so one of them makes the shapes, another paints them and then everything is taken apart again a hundred times and the colours changed completely. That is quite nerve-racking. The sculptures need to be painted for technical reasons, because paper maché oxidises if it is left in the air too long. Then I have them painted in some colours. Sometimes I can go on working with them quite well, or else it is terrible and one makes something else with it. That is a motif in itself. But the shapes that come out are always more or less the same shapes, I’m afraid.

Constantly interrupting yourself, constantly cutting off your own words–which, of course, adds to the acceleration of art, of the art business, because permanent renewal is desired, where uncertainty is the only certainty–all this applies strongly to you. Also because you are constantly becoming more varied in your work. 

That is the way things have turned out. Really, now everything is made by assistants, like the sculptures. Mrs. Anne paints over them, the videos are made by somebody, the metal things are made by somebody and then I have to make something out of what they make.

But isn’t that irritating for the assistants, who, after all, are almost all artists? 

Yes, quite true. You have to bother with sentimentalities, but then you have to stay cool.

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Text source: spike magazine – Andreas REITER RAABE Interview Franz West