I remember standing in front of the Jasper Johns painting, willing all that color and light into my puny brain. I’d never seen anything like it. I’d grown up in a small town and I’d never been to a museum but now I was in art school in the big city and I couldn’t believe a painting could have so much depth and life. I breathed the words on the canvas, sussing out what the artist was trying to say to me. I was knocked out and I wanted to paint like that.
Now I incorporate text in my paintings all the time. I like the idea of the work having a kind of sound to it. People say the words and sometimes look at me, puzzled. It gets them thinking about what it’s trying to say and they find personal meaning. Just like I did, staring at that Johns painting. All those years ago.