Again I have to go back to my bleak childhood, where my only contact with culture was the dark and cold Roman Catholic church with all these paintings and sculptures of tortured people and sacred corpses.
And one day, like beams of light from a better world, Donald Duck, Elvis and Charlie Chaplin – the first messengers of American culture hit us, and we realized that all these exciting, arousing and inspiring things were coming from America and the English-speaking world. The Blues, Rock n’Roll, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the comic books, the movies, and later Bukowski, Burroughs and others. This overwhelming, all-transforming magic power of the trivial arts that you couldn’t resist.
But the bullets of Dallas that killed Kennedy suddenly ended this innocent, brief moment in history. The dream was over. It was the beginning of our long way down – Vietnam, the killing of Martin Luther King, Watergate, the stock market, Enron, the Gulf-wars, Columbine, 911 and so on. Finally the western-Christian empire is dying. The Roman empire is falling again, like a fatally wounded giant going down in slow motion.
I have a studio in Los Angeles and I love to work there, because I think it’s the furthest point in this process of decay, this final victory of materialism over the spirit. I want to be on the edge of the present and I think it’s my obligation as an artist to witness how we are heading for this brave new world, and to watch how skillfully its new masters use the oldest and most proven tool: fear.
Drowning us with “news” about terrorists, diseases, drugs, child abuse, serial-killers and economic catastrophes.