Every once in a while I think I make a signature piece ñ one of those that kind of sums up what I’ve learned lately. In Japan I began to like how they just slap graphics and type over images, I loved the chaos of it all. My critics have long slammed me for putting too much information in my work–fuck ’em. They’ve never much had any idea how I think of how I see the world, which is everything happening at once. History is not something that happened a hundred years ago; it is something that is happening now, in a million different places, to a million different people, for a million different reasons ñ for better or worse, this is how I think of the world. I just try to hang on to the end of the kite-string and find a salient lesson or two in all of it. In Japan, the chaotic visual is not frowned upon; beauty is where you find it.
I love drawing female figures . . . nothing better. If I could draw birds and naked women the rest of my life, I’d be just fine with it. In Japan the natural world and sensuality are part of the same poetic construction. The Japanese are completely unafraid of color and in Japan I decided to let my palette off of the leash and just have at it. I’m glad I did. A year ago I was making love poem pieces with small silhouettes of this figure; I love this shape. The playful carnality of it keeps my attention while I’m drawing.
I scored a bunch of gorgeous Japanese paper while I was in Tokyo and then, when I got back, a lovely designer named Kazumi brought me a bunch more; all of it rhythmic and suggestive of nature and natural forms, which repeats itself in Japanese design and poetry and music.
I went to Japan to let something new into my work. My whole artistic output has been wholly American and now it is time to get a whiff of the big world.