I don`t think any one person, whether artist or not, has been given permission by anyone to put the responsibility of the way things are on anyone else.
I think maybe chance works better in a situation like music because music exists over a period of time, and you don`t maintain constantly the you can`t refer back from one area to another area.
An empty canvas is full.
So that ideas of sort of relaxed symmetry have been something for years that I have been concerned with because I think that symmetry is a neutral shape as opposed to a form of design.
But I was in awe of the painters; I mean I was new in New York, and I thought the painting that was going on here was just unbelievable.
I`m not so facile that I can accomplish or find out what I want to know or explore enough of the possibilities and a way of making a painting, say, in just one painting or two paintings.
I don`t mess around with my subconscious.
The only thing that I could get with chance, and I never was able to use it, was that I would end up with something quite geometric or the spirit that I was interested in, indulging in, was gone.
Oracle was I had started it I guess two and a half years ago, maybe even longer than that, closer to three.
I don`t think that we have the strength over a period of years to see things always as though we hadn`t ever looked at them before to see them new.
One can see that a canvas is six feet by eight feet, say, quite accurately. But you can spend two minutes and think it`s five, or thirty seconds and it`s just a different bed for activities there.
And also the new excitement and variety of ways that the abstract expressionists were applying paint. You could put it on as though it were colored air and it would be painting.
I did a twenty foot print and John Cage is involved in that because he was the only person I knew in New York who had a car and who would be willing to do this.
I got so I was really just sick of sculpture.
I`m sure we don`t read old paintings the way they were intended.
I think a painting is more like the real world if it`s made out the real world.
Every time I`ve moved, my work has changed radically.
There was a whole language that I could never make function for myself in relationship to painting and that was attitudes like tortured, struggle, pain.
A newspaper that you`re not reading can be used for anything; and the same people didn`t think it was immoral to wrap their garbage in newspaper.
You begin with the possibilities of the material.
Pollock also... wanted one to be wrapped in the painting.
And I think that even today, New York still has more of this unexpected quality around every corner than any place else. It`s something quite extraordinary.
And all of this, all these physical aspects of painting at that time excited me very much. You could do a picture in just black and white. I mean all the things, whether you`re soliciting permission or not, do give you permission.
If you don`t have trouble paying the rent, you have trouble doing something else; one needs just a certain amount of trouble.
And I think a painting has such a limited life anyway.
But I found a lot of artists at the Cedar Bar were difficult for me to talk to.
Well, I like way downtown near the Battery. I lived down there at this time and for, I guess, the following well, this is where I moved to uptown and I`ve been here for four years and this is 1965.
I wouldn`t use the same color in a picture in more than one place.
Very quickly a painting is turned into a facsimile of itself when one becomes so familiar with with it that one recognizes it without looking at it.
The artist`s job is to be a witness to his time in history.
And if I see in the superficial subconscious relationships that I`m familiar with, cliches of association, I change the picture.
I always have a good reason for taking something out but I never have one for putting something in. And I don`t want to, because that means that the picture is being painted predigested.