On his Art
I believe in deeply ordered chaos.
I want a very ordered image but I want it to come about by chance.
If you want to convey fact, this can only ever be done through a form of distortion.
I work much better in chaos… chaos for me breeds images.
I always think of myself not so much as a painter but as a medium for accident and chance.
[…] painting unlocks all kind of valves of sensations within me which returns me to life more violently.
I wanted to paint the scream more than the horror.
I want to paint like Velázquez but with the texture of a hippopotamus skin.
I would like my picture to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory of the past events as a snail leaves its slime.
We nearly always live through screens […] when people say my work looks violent, perhaps I have from time to time been able to clear away one or two of the veils or screens.
I want to make the animal thing come through the human.
The image matters more than the beauty of the paint.
How are you going to trap reality? How are you going to trap appearance without making an illustration of it? That is one of the great fights, of the great excitements of being a figurative artist today.
I’m just trying to make images as accurately off my nervous system as I can […]
I’m always surprised when people speak of violence in my work. I don’t find it at all violent myself. I don’t know why people think it is. I never look for violence. There is an element of realism in my pictures which might perhaps give that impression, but life is violent, so much more violent than anything I can do!
I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people around me have been dying like flies and I’ve had nobody else left to paint but myself . . . I loathe my own face, but I go on painting it only because I haven’t got any other people to do.