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Q: Your paintings are full-blown productions. You take great care to not only cast them, but to choose the right sets and lighting for them. Would you consider making films?

"Truth Betrayed by Innocence," soft pastel on sandpaper

“Truth Betrayed by Innocence,” soft pastel on sandpaper

A: In the late 1990s I seriously considered it – I studied film at the New School and at New York University – but ultimately I decided to stay with painting. A well-made film will be seen by more people than a painting ever will, but the finances of making it are daunting. Historically visual artists have achieved mixed results when they have turned to filmmaking. Cindy Sherman was not very good at it, but Shirin Neshat’s feature film was very good. Julian Schnabel is arguably a much better filmmaker than he ever was a painter. Most importantly for me, filmmaking is a very complex collaboration. I love the time I spend alone in my studio and prefer having control over and being fully responsible for the results. It would be difficult to give this up.