LATELY — 30 June 2003

Where the Landscape Painters Go

“I sell Honda auto parts. I wanted to be an artist. And I did pursue that for a while, but I became disillusioned with it in college. I was trying to follow a more traditional pathway, and I used to get into fights with my professors about that. I went to North Texas. There was a professor up there who did ‘sound painting.’ He ran around with a tape recorder, taping various noises. Set it up in the auditorium and you’d listen to all these sounds. His philosophy was, the more outrageous the better. Kinda, try to break the boundaries of tradition. Meanwhile, I’m doing these landscape paintings, you know? Trying to be the next Van Gogh. [Laughs] We’d get into awful fights. Then I saw other people who were doing well—and this one guy’s project was shaving a baby pig and then tattooing it. He got an A for that. There’s another guy who went around killing blackbirds, and he would snip off their wings and their feet and gul them onto a canvas. He was getting A’s for this, and I was going, what the hell am I doing here? Why am I doing this?”

(John Dove in Gig.)