Artists

  • A Shufflebook Set | Richard Hefter & Martin Stephen Moskof

    The Shufflebook was a set of cards that were developed by Richard Hefter & Martin Stephen Moskof. The idea was to mix & match the cards to make your own story. Mathematically, I guess over 100,000 different stories could be told.

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

     
    Discovery via: Martin Klasch |  Images via: Hey Sam Bennett
    Categories: art, Artists, Illustrators
  • Alan Aldridge | Artist

      

      

      

      

      

    Images sourced here

    Read about him here

  • Alexander Binder | Photographer

      

         

      

         

      

         

      

         

         

         

         

         

    Nature is creepy. Check out the amazingly talented Alexander Binder

  • Alexey Brodovich | Design

     

     

     

      

     

      

     

     

     

     

     

      

     

    Brodovich was a graphic designer best know for his work with Harpers Bazaar. He also was a teacher who set up a design lab that became know as the "prep school" for agencies and magazines around the country. His impressive bio is here.

    Other cool Graphic Design (++here++)

    Categories: Graphic Design, Artists, art
  • Andrzej Kilmowski

    Andrezej Kilmowski is a London based illustrator who designs book and film posters amongst other things. He has designed numerous works for Jim Jarmusch, Robert Altman, Milan Kundera & PG Wodehouse. You can visit his site here and see more work that you can buy here.

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

    Categories: art, Artists, Illustrators
  • Anonima Group

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

    "The American artist collaborative, Anonima Group, was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960 by Ernst Benkert, Francis Hewitt and Ed Mieczkowski. Propelled by their rejection of the cult of the individual ego and automatic style of the Abstract Expressionists, the artists worked collaboratively on grid-based, spatially fluctuating drawings and paintings that were precise investigations of the scientific phenomena and psychology of optical perception. The work was accompanied by writings: proposals, projects and manifestos - socialist in nature - which the artists considered essential to the experience and understanding of their work. Their drawings, paintings and writings, which had much in common with the positions of artist Ad Reinhardt, and with the Russian Constructivists, were included in the 1965 Responsive Eye exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Along with other artists in the exhibit , Anonima's work was incorrectly relegated to what came to be the highly commercialized and publicized category of Op Art. A recent reconsideration and recontextualization of Op Art, the expansive 2006 Optic Nerve exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art, places the Anonima as the sole American collaborative group, along with the European Zero Group, Gruppo N, GRAV and others, who were examining new optical information at that time.

    Frank Hewitt, who had a masters in art and later did course work toward a PhD in the psychology of perception, provided the conceptual framework for the Anonima Group; their projects addressed the latest information about the science and psychology of visual perception. Anonima's anti-commercial stance, including their ultimate refusal to interact with the commercial artworld, had the effect of removing them from the lexicon of known artists from that time."

    Images and text sourced from Anonimagroup.org
  • Artist Interview | Eric LoPresti

    Brooklyn based artist Eric LoPresti's new show “Fade” opens today and runs through October 4 at Like The Spice Gallery in Williamsburg.  We sat down with him to talk about the concept for the show and the Brooklyn art scene.


     

    Categories: Painter, interviews, Artists, art
  • Bugada & Cargnel Gallery

    Bugada & Cargnel is a gallery is Paris that I really like.

    james hopkins

     

      

      

    vanessa beecroft

     

      

      

    marc bijl

     

      

    pierre bismuth

     

      

      

    kimberly clark

     

         

    anikka larsson

     

      

      

      

    iris von dongen

  • Charlie White | Photographer

      

     

    Charlie White is a Philadelphia born, Los Angeles based artst, filmmaker, photographer, puppet maker and music video director.  His work is hilarious. Below is his video for Interpol's Evil.

     

  • Daily Routines of Great People

    ERIK SATIE

     

    On most mornings after he moved to Arcueil, Satie would return to Paris on foot, a distance of about ten kilometres, stopping frequently at his favourite cafés on route. Accoring to Templier, "he walked slowly, taking small steps, his umbrella held tight under his arm. When talking he would stop, bend one knee a little, adjust his pince-nez and place his fist on his lap. The we would take off once more with small deliberate steps."

    When he eventually reached Paris he visited friends, or arranged to meet them in other cafés by sending pneumatiques. Often the walking from place to place continued, focussing on Montmarte before the war, and subsequently on Montparnasse. From here, Satie would catch the last train back to Arcueil at about 1.00am, or, if he was still engaged in serious drinking, he would miss the train and begin the long walk home during the early hours of the morning. Then the daily round would begin again.

    Roger Shattuck, in conversations with John Cage in 1982, put forward the interesting theory that "the source of Satie's sense of musical beat--the possibility of variation within repetition, the effect of boredom on the organism--may be this endless walking back and forth across the same landscape day after day . . . the total observation of a very limited and narrow environment." During his walks, Satie was also observed stopping to jot down ideas by the light of the street lamps he passed.
     

    GERHARD RICHTER

     

    He sticks to a strict routine, waking at 6:15 every morning. He makes breakfast for his family, takes Ella to school at 7:20 and is in the studio by 8. At 1 o'clock, he crosses the garden from the studio back to the house. The grass in the garden is uncut. Richter proudly points this out, to show that even it is a matter of his choosing, not by chance. At 1 o'clock, he eats lunch in the dining room, alone. A housekeeper lays out the same meal for him each day: yogurt, tomatoes, bread, olive oil and chamomile tea.

    After lunch, Richter returns to his studio to work into the evening. ''I have always been structured,'' he explains. ''What has changed is the proportions. Now it is eight hours of paperwork and one of painting.'' He claims to waste time -- on the house, the garden -- although this is hard to believe. ''I go to the studio every day, but I don't paint every day. I love playing with my architectural models. I love making plans. I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don't paint until finally I can't stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don't want to talk about it, because I don't want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself. It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.'' As he talks, I notice a single drop of paint on the floor beneath one of his abstract pictures, the only thing out of place in the studio.
     

    CHARLES DARWIN

     

    [The following is from Francis Darwin's reminiscences of his father. It summarizes a typical day in Darwin's middle and later years, when he had developed a rigid routine that seldom changed, even when there were visitors in the house.]

    7 a.m.  Rose and took a short walk.
    7:45 a.m.   Breakfast alone
    8–9:30 a.m.   Worked in his study; he considered this his best working time.
    9:30–10:30 a.m.  Went to drawing-room and read his letters, followed by reading aloud of family letters.
    10:30 a.m.  Returned to study, which period he considered the end of his working day.
    12 noon   Walk, starting with visit to greenhouse, then round the sandwalk, the number of times depending on his health, usually alone or with a dog.
    12:45 p.m.   Lunch with whole family, which was his main meal of the day. After lunch read The Times and answered his letters.
    3 p.m.    Rested in his bedroom on the sofa and smoked a cigarette, listened to a novel or other light literature read by ED [Emma Darwin, his wife].
    4 p.m.    Walked, usually round sandwalk, sometimes farther afield and sometimes in company.
    4:30–5:30 p.m.   Worked in study, clearing up matters of the day.
    6 p.m.    Rested again in bedroom with ED reading aloud.
    7.30 p.m.    Light high tea while the family dined. In late years never stayed in the dining room with the men, but retired to the drawing-room with the ladies. If no guests were present, he played two games of backgammon with ED, usually followed by reading to himself, then ED played the piano, followed by reading aloud.
    10 p.m.   Left the drawing-room and usually in bed by 10:30, but slept badly.

    Even when guests were present, half an hour of conversation at a time was all that he could stand, because it exhausted him.
     

    ERNEST HEMINGWAY

     

     

    INTERVIEWER
    Could you say something of this process? When do you work? Do you keep to a strict schedule?

    HEMINGWAY
    When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and you know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.
     

    WILLEM DE KOONING

     

     

    If Elaine [Fried, whom de Kooning married in 1943] found it strange to return directly to work on her wedding day, she never said so. That was the way of life on Twenty-second Street: every woman in de Kooning's life from Nini onward could attest that he was already married to his work. During the time when Elaine was commuting back and forth to Brooklyn, de Kooning's days were devoted to art, and they continued to be so after she moved in permanently. Typically, the couple rose late in the morning. Breakfast consisted mostly of very strong coffee, cut with the milk they kept in winter on a window ledge; they did not have a refrigerator, an appliance that in the early forties was still a luxury. (So was a private phone, which de Kooning would not have until the early sixties.) Then the day's routine began with de Kooning moving to his end of the studio and Elaine to hers. Work was punctuated by more cups of strong coffee, which de Kooning made by boiling the coffee as he had learned to do in Holland, and by many cigarettes. The two stayed at their easels until fairly late, taking a break only to go out for something to eat or to walk up to Times Square to see a movie. Often, however, de Kooning, who hated to stop working, began again after supper and pushed far into the night, leaving Elaine to go to a party or concert. "I remember very often walking by and seeing the lights on and going up," said Marjorie Luyckx. "In those studios, the heat used to go off after five o'clock because they were commercial buildings. Bill would be painting with his hat and coat on. Painting away, and whistling."
     

    ROALD DAHL

     

    Settled into a writing career, he lived on a farm where he raised livestock and bred greyhounds. His routine was to write from 10 A.M. until noon, spend the afternoon tending his animals and return to his writing again from 4 to 6 P.M.

    His writing was far from effortless. He commonly spent six months working on a single short story.

     

    KARL MARX

     

    His mode of living consisted of daily visits to the British Museum reading-room, where he normally remained from nine in the morning until it closed at seven; this was followed by long hours of work at night, accompanied by ceaseless smoking, which from a luxury had become an indispensable anodyne; this affected his health permanently and he became liable to frequent attacks of a disease of the liver sometimes accompanied by boils and an inflammation of the eyes, which interfered with his work, exhausted and irritated him, and interrupted his never certain means of livelihood. "I am plagued like Job, though not so God-fearing," he wrote in 1858.
     

    ROGER EBERT

     

    Morning routine: I usually get up around 7. I make oatmeal in my rice cooker. Then I take an hourlong walk: outside if the weather's good; on my treadmill if it's cold. Then I shower, shave and go to the first of three movies I see on many weekdays.

     

    GARY PANTER

     

    Get up at 7:30 in the morning -- feed cats, drive daughter to school, read the NY Times and drink chocolate milk. Do chores and tasks and try to get time to make art. Make art. Take naps. Before each 5 minute nap I read a page or two. Right now I'm reading Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day. Make art. Go to sleep at 3:00 in the morning.
     

    HARUKI MURAKAMI

     

    When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.

     

    via 2 Do Before I Die
    Categories: Writers, Artists, art
  • Dan McPharlin | Illustrator & Model Maker

    ILLUSTRATIONS

     

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

     

    MODELS MADE FROM CARDBOARD

     

      

      

      

    LOOK AT ALL HIS STUFF HERE

  • Derek Erdman | Artist, Illustrator & $7 Rapper (Maybe)

    Derek Erdman. Don't know too much about him except that he exhibit's at NYC's Canada gallery (which is impressive) and has a killer website. Besides making art he offers a bunch of services. We'll talk about them here.

    1. If you send him $15 and email him a photo then he'll digitally draw your portrait. An example of which is shown below.

     

    2. For $7 he's willing to give somebody who's done you wrong a vigilante rap phone call.  The rapper is Rap Master Mourice (which may or may not be him). Rap Master Mourice & his terms of service are listed below.

     

    RAP MASTER MAURICE PRESENTS:
    $7 VIGILANTE RAP PHONE CALLS

    BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE?
    TERRIBLE MEAL AT A RESTAURANT?
    TIRED OF A WORN OUT RELATIONSHIP?
    WAYWARD RELATIVE OWES YOU MONEY?
    UNABLE TO BE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE?
    MAURICE IS ON THE JOB!

    Rap Master Maurice is willing to VIGILANTE MIND BATTLE RAP CALL
    anybody who has done you wrong. Simply PayPal $7 and give a brief explanation of
    the trouble and you're EVEN STEPHEN. Do it now because soon it will
    cost $10 and you will say to yourself, "I SHOULD HAVE DONE IT WHEN IT WAS $7".

    Your $7 payment includes justice, peace of mind and a medium
    quality MP3 file emailed to you in a timely manner!

    RAP MASTER MAURICE will rap about ANYTHING, even gross stuff!
    There are no bounds to justice. SERIOUSLY:

    CHILD CUSTODY BATTLE?
    PAROLE OFFICER GOT YOU DOWN?
    FATHER LEFT YOU AT AN EARLY AGE?
    MAD AT THE TALIBAN?

    Supply the telephone number and the info, THE RAP IS MADE.

    NOTICE: The price of non-revenge "friendly" raps has doubled
    to $14. Maurice is a revenge rapper but will don the hat of
    friendly rapper for an extra $7.

    BECOME A FAN OF RAP MASTER MAURICE on Facebook! Or exercise free will
    and don't. It's your life, champ.

    3. For the low price of $14.98 he will send you a hamburger through the mail in an anonymous package. More info below:

     

     

    4. For absolutely know cost. That means free. He'll give you advice.

     

    ADVICE MASTERS is an absolutely free advice service that caters to all people in any sort of situation imaginable. If you need help sorting out a financial matter or if you're having trouble in a relationship, we're here to guide you towards a solution. If you're dealing with the death of a loved one or perhaps you just would like somebody to talk to, we're always available. Perhaps you've recently lost your job or a friend has turned their back to you for no apparent reason, we're in your corner. There's a chance that your dilemma is more practical in nature, such as gardening or fishing tips or you need a good banana bread recipe. You should consider ADVICE MASTERS a friend, a family member, an encyclopedia and the internet. We consider no subject taboo. We're not quite omniscient but we like to think that we're pert-near!

    Each of our staff is trained in conflict resolution and each holds a certificate in Expert Advice Giving. No problem is too big or too small and a staff member is on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week every day of the year.

    If you're interested in anonymity we suggest pressing *67 before dialing. We promise partial discretion with every call, you can remain anonymous or tell us as much as you want about yourself. In fact, you don't even have to have a question; you can simply get some things off of your chest and hang up. Additionally if you simply want to call and hang up when we answer, there's nothing wrong with that, either.

    "This phone call was a success." Kristen Smith, Durango CO

     

    5. He sells his paintings, which are nicely priced and probably worth collecting

      

      

      

      

    Categories: art, Artists, Illustrators
  • Don Bonham & The Hermen Goode Aesthetics Racing Team

    Don Bonham is a DUMBO based artist who makes kinetic sculptures of cars, boats, planes, etc., that often include elements of the human body in their design. He's also involved with Hermen Goode Aesthetic Racing Team.

      

      

       

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

    Categories: Sculpture, Bikes, Artists, art
  • Eugene Bilbrew | Vintage Sleaze Book Covers

      

      

      

      

      

     

    Dull Tool Dim Bulb has assembled an amazing collection of vintage sleaze paperback cover art, including these by Eugene Bilbrew.

    "Bilbrew, an African-American School of Visual Arts student (!) fell into bad company and even worse habits. As he slipped into heroin addiction, his work became even more bizarre. He moved to the rear of a porno bookshop on the deuce. The mob-run publisher he worked for was busted out of business, so he sold his drawings to no less sleazy publishers such as Wizard, Satan and Chevron. Most of these are from Satan. A pall-bearer hits on the widow. An unlikely prison visitor tempts caged psychopaths. A rogue cop harasses an amorous couple out on the beach too late. A shop-class goggles wearing professor aims his student's motorcycle "headlights" into the wind. And of course, the extra-flamboyant dancer against a lime green wall "trips" and falls into the lap of his modern art loving suitor. Never mind that the text had absolutely nothing to do with the cover illustration, this is kitsch of the highest order. These all date to the late 1960's. Several have "saw-cut" slashes, which means they were returned to the distributor unsold. I can not imagine why.

    To his credit, I suppose...Bilbrew was one of the few artists doing multi-racial covers at the time. (and the hair-impaired, for that matter) I don't think it helped sales."

    See more sleazy covers here

    You may also like: Vintage Book Covers Bob Pepper


  • Fabulas Panicas | Comic Book by Alejandro Jodorowsky

    Fabulas Panicas was a comic book made by the great filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky from 1967 - 1973. I found these images at Routine Investigations, which is an extremely well done blog.

    Categories: Filmmakers, Comics, Artists, art
  • Frederic Magazine | Art

    Frederic Fleury is a French artist that co-runs editions 57 and is one of the founding members of Frederic Magazine. You can see an unbelievable amount of images by visiting the magazine here.  You can visit his flickr page here. And you can buy some of his stuff from Nieves, whose site is also worth exploring.

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

    X-Rated doodles after the jump

    Categories: Magazines, Artists, art
  • From the Stone Roses to John Leckie to Love to Bob Pepper to Phillip K Dick Without Saying Anything Too Important

    Those paint splattering menaces are at it again! The Stone Roses released their box set a few weeks back and I just had the chance to pick up my copy. The package is absolutely essential to people who forgot just how good this band was.

     

     

    Those who have seen the band and have seen Ian Brown sing live, know just how important the high profile production work of John Leckie was to creating the sound to these recordings.  I was recetnly reading Love's Forever Changes Wikipedia page, when I noticed that the partnership between The Roses and Leckie was apparently solidified when both parties agreed that Forever Changes was "the best record ever made", which explains alot when it comes to explaing the Turns Into Stone sound.

     

     

    Forever Changes was Love's third record and certainly their best.  The album art was done by Bob Pepper, an artist whose ties with Elektra gave him the opportunity to work on some of the most iconic album covers of the late sixties.

     

     

    Pepper went on to create book covers for Ballantine's Fantasy series, most notable the work of Phillip K. Dick.

     

    Via John Coulthart
  • Gilles Barbier is weird, but not in the pejorative sense

    Gilles Barbier is a French artist and sculptor who makes life-like sculptures of obscured humans that sort of remind me of John Currin paintings. I first saw Barbier at the Whitney show, The American Effect in 2003,where he presented a series on aging American superheros that were confined to a nursing home.

     

      

     

    Other work from other shows

     

      

      

    Images sourced from documentsdartistes.org

    You may also like: Karen Caldicott | Don Bonham | Les Krims | Olaf Breuning |

    Categories: Sculpture, Artists, art
  • Harri Peccinotti | Lips & Hips

      

     

    Harry Peccinotti is a photographer and art director. He was Nova magazine's first art director and regular photographer throughout. He also did the Pirelli Calendars of 1968 and 1969, with designer Derek Birdsall and provided the cover photograph for Alberto Moravia's 1976 Penguin edition of The Woman of Rome and contributed photographs to The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. Penguin Modern Poets 25 also features a photograph of female lips smoking a cigarette, one of his trademark image tropes. He has designed record sleeves for Esquire Records.

     

    Great Interview with him at Vice

    Categories: Photography, Mouths, Artists, art
  • Helmut Smits | Artist & Designer

    Drum set made from tin cans

    Lamp made from packaging

    Landscape made from corporate logos

    Nascar made from garbage bags, shopping bags, foil & tape

    Puma logo in The Netherlands

    Lacoste logo in The Netherlands

    Without cabinet made from stuff that would normally be in a cabinet

    See more here

    Categories: art, Artists, Design, Sculpture
  • Henry Wolf | Graphic Designer

        

        

        

        

        

        

     

    Henry was a photographer, art director and graphic designer best known for his art direction of Esquire, Harpers Bazaar, and Show during the 50's and 60's.

  • HOW WE WORK

    Rod Corp has assembled an absolutely amazing collection of the world's best writers, architects, artists, intellectuals, movie makers, musicians and composers and complied a list of quotes of them explaining how they get their job done. Below is are the just a few quotes from the nearly exhaustive list.

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Milton Glaser

    "You can only work for people that you like
    If you have a choice never have a job
    Some people are toxic avoid them
    Professionalism is not enough or the good is the enemy of the great
    Less is not necessarily more [aka: Just enough is more]
    Style is not to be trusted
    How you live changes your brain
    Doubt is better than certainty
    Solving the problem is more important than being right
    Tell the truth"

     

    Martin Scorsese

    Scorsese is driven to make film; can't write, hates shooting film, loves editing:

    Scorsese enjoys the money and the effects it enables him to create, but not the ensuing commercial pressures that demand films with so little dialogue a Hispanic illegal with six words of English can still follow the plot. "I'm drawn constantly to projects that need a sizeable budget. For that money, what can I give them? Everyone is on a tightrope."

    He admits he became "obsessional" about Gangs of New York in 2002, which went over its $97m budget and lost millions; no other director would have been so indulged. Much as the film world loves "Marty", some will tell you privately he can be a nightmare to work with: "Tinker, tinker, tinker," says one. [...]

    "You say 'I've got to make a film, it's what I do'. And when you make one, you want to be allowed to make a few more." [...]

    There is no hint of retirement, because he is obsessed, just like Hughes [whom his 2004 film The Aviator is about]. "I wish I did know something more than movies so as I could make a living, I wish I could write; I envy Woody Allen that. But I do have an obsession with the actual moving image. I hate shooting, there are too many people on set and too many things can go wrong." But alone in the editing suite is the nearest he feels to life having purpose.

     

    Steve Reich & Philip Glass

    Steve Reich's (and indeed Philip Glass's) music lends itself strongly to a How we work because it has a strong performative and methodological component. But until we dig into that, read this from a 2006 profile and try imagine what music for moving bookcases he and Glass must have hummed together as they humped sideboards up staircases and carried boxes of records for music-loving householders:

    In 1966 Reich moved back to New York, where he got to know Philip Glass. At one point they had a moving company together; Glass also worked as a plumber while Reich drove a cab.

     

       

     

     OSCAR NIEMEYER

     

    Works every single day of the year, including Sundays and Christmas.

     

     

    ARTHUR RIMBAUD

    Notoriously, gave up poetry by the age of nineteen.

     

     

    BILL MURRAY

    Bill Murray has replaced an agent with a freephone number and an insistence upon asynchronous communication. From The Times (link may expire so here we are):

    By definition, Hollywood stars must have agents and publicists. Not Bill Murray. He has never had a publicist and, five years ago, he fired his agents. "I said I didn’t ever want to speak to them again, and I never did," he says. "I like to cut my own lawn now. I don’t need a landscaper."

    Now Murray’s only contact with the film business is through a freephone number. If people need to talk to him - perhaps producers who want him to star in a film - they have to call the number and leave a message. (Of course, they have to find the number first.) If he feels like it, he will call back. Often, he doesn’t. Sometimes, he’ll go for weeks without even listening to the messages. It took Sofia Coppola hundreds of phone calls and seven months to get him to look at the script for Lost in Translation. Even then, she wasn’t sure he was going to make the film until he appeared on the set on the first day of the shoot in Tokyo. Other directors have apparently been told to leave scripts in a phone booth somewhere near his home outside New York, up the Hudson River. On a recent film, a production assistant who needed to contact him was told to call his freephone and leave a number for a phone that she would not pick up, so he could call her back without having to talk to her. Of course, he doesn't see this as strange or eccentric. He likes to be accessible, he says, but on his own terms.

     

     

    DAMIEN HIRST

    Hirst has three assistants working solely on the butterfly pictures - he's Britain's biggest importer.

    Waldemar Januszczak went to visit Hirst's new studio in Lambeth in March 2005, and found him rotating assistants on his new photo-realistic paintings to ensure that the authorial hand remains identifiably his, rather than theirs':

    The new painting studio is the size of a large parish church. Though perhaps taller. Stuck to the walls in a ring, as if by centrifugal force, is an assortment of boiler-suited assistants, carefully dabbing away. That's photorealism for you. It can't be done from a distance. Damien's in a boiler suit too, and takes a bit of spotting. He looks well. A couple of pounds heavier, perhaps. Lots more polar-bear hair in the barnet. But he's still on the wagon, and it is still giving him energy to burn. Usually I would let him gabble at me for a while before turning to his art, because Damien is such an entertaining gabbler. But I simply cannot believe what I see when I enter, and brush past him to take a closer look. Of all the things that this gore-splattered chameleon could have become, becoming a photorealist is perhaps the least likely. [...]

    Damien explains how it works. First he identifies a photograph that he wants to re-create. Then he gets his people to phone up and get permission to use it, while never revealing it's for Damien Hirst. [...] The teams of assistants do most of the bread-and-butter copying — "If it was me I'd paint it monochrome and stick a fag packet in the middle" — and Damien patrols the results, jazzing up this and that: a dab here, a daub there. He's just been working on the blood pouring down from a football hooligan's face and takes me over to inspect his handiwork. He's been adding glazes. Making it look more bloody.

    Don't the assistants get upset when he dabs about with their paintings? Doesn't he sometimes spoil what's there? All the time, he giggles, proudly, but they are not their paintings, they're his. And to ensure this is clear, he swaps the assistants around from picture to picture so nobody is ever responsible for the whole thing. Smart strategy.

     

     

     

    JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER

    Foer's collection of blank sheets of writing paper started by accident: a friend was sorting Isaac Bashevis Singer's belonging for a university archive, and gave the uppermost sheet of Singer's stack of unused typing paper to Foer. The sheet became a mystic writing pad for Foer, a mirror for writing, and the collection followed.

    But I was wrong about the empty page. Or I was wrong about myself. A relationship developed. I found myself thinking about the piece of paper, being moved by it, taking it out of its envelope several times a day, wanting to see it. I had the page framed and put it on my living room wall. Many of the breaks I took from looking at my own empty paper were spent looking at Singer's.

     Looking at what? There were too many things to look at. There were the phantom words that Singer hadn't actually written and would never write, the arrangements of ink that would have turned the most common of all objects--the empty page--into the most valuable: a great work of art. The blank sheet of paper was at once empty and infinite. [...]

    And it was also a mirror. As a young writer--I was then contemplating how to move forward after my first effort--I felt so enthusiastically and agonizingly aware of the blank pages in front of me. How could I fill them? Did I even want to fill them? Was I becoming a writer because I wanted to become a writer or because I was becoming a writer? I stared into the empty pages day after day, looking, like Narcissus, for myself.

    I decided to expand my collection. Singer's paper was not enough, just as Singer's books would not be enough in a library, even if they were your favorites. I wanted to see how other pieces of paper would speak to Singer's and to one another, how the physical differences among them would echo the writers. I wanted to see if the accumulation of emptiness would be greater than the sum of its parts. So I began writing letters to authors--all of whom I admired, only one or two of whom I had ever corresponded with--asking for the next sheet of paper that he or she would have written on.

     

     

     

    JOHN CAGE

    "I think people who are not artists often feel that artists are inspired. But if you work at your art you don't have time to be inspired. Out of the work comes the work."

     


     

     

    ANTHONY BURGESS

    Burgess was prolific, writing six novels in 1960. "I refuse no reasonable offer of work and very few unreasonable ones" he would confess in 1978.

    It's unclear whether this urgency can be attributed to a doctor predicting that a brain tumour left him with (as much as) a year to live:

    After fighting in World War II, he worked for five years as a colonial education officer in Malaya. While he was there, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and a doctor told him he had only one year to live. He later wrote: "I had been granted something I had never had before: a whole year to live. I would not be run over by a bus tomorrow, nor knifed on the Brighton racetrack. I would not choke on a bone. If I fell in the wintry sea I would not drown. I had a whole year, a long time. In that year I had to earn for my prospective widow... I would have to turn myself into a professional writer."

     

     

    JACKSON POLLOCK

    Knocked a wall down in his studio in order to fit in the canvas that would become Mural (1943), for Peggy Guggenheim's apartment. But he didn't commence work on it until 15 hours before it was due to be delivered - "it was a stampede", he would later report.

    When it was delivered, Guggenheim found that it was eight inches too long to fit into the space. On Marcel Duchamp's advise it was chopped down to fit.