How do you feel when you make art?
When I make art, I feel just about everything at one time or another. Giddy. Bored. Hungry. Connected. Desperate. Graceful. Awkward. Like anything is possible and nothing is possible. It’s all moment to moment. I hate writing but I love having written. I love editing. Rehearsal is the best, but also the worst. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a sled riding a giant hill and other times I feel like I’m stuck in front of a very tall wall. My favorite is working with others. Being stuck is easier when you’re stuck with others. That’s why I love collaboration. In exchange for control, you get giant doses of the euphoria that comes with group discovery and problem solving. I’m always hoping to get out of my own mind and find flow. That’s when I usually make my best work, and it’s when it feels the best. Those other feelings are part of what it takes to get there though.
What is the most wonderful art gift you have ever received?
I have to pick two.
When I was a kid, my dad rented part of his office to a painter named Tom Nakashima. He’s a wonderful man and an incredible artist. I used to love touring his studio and watching the way he worked. He made large surreal emotional pieces. He gave my dad this piece as a gift. A giant Turtle with a log for a shell. I think it’s my favorite painting in all the world. Last year we helped move my dad out of the house I grew up in and he gave to me.
One of my favorite artists is Alexander Calder. I love his Mobile’s and his Stabiles, but his small wire sculptures are my favorite. Some were portraits of his friends. Others moved and were more like puppets. He even made an entire circus of kinetic animals and circus acts that he would perform in living rooms and small theaters. My girlfriend Lizi knows how much I love those pieces and one year, for my birthday, she made me this. I think it’s absolutely perfect.