Why do you make art?
Wow, well it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s all I’ve ever known. It’s just an indivisible part of my consciousness on Earth. It’s my earliest memories. There’s no “why,” it’s just something that I drifted into naturally. It’s completely instinctive with me, it really is. It’s something I found out I could do and I enjoyed it, and I still enjoy it.
What is the role of humor in art, and have you seen it change over time?
I use humor because I think it’s one of the more effective ways of communicating the truth. A lot of times truth-telling can be kind of preachy or didactic or self-righteous and it turns people off. And it’s just not effective. But humor just activates everything. It just makes it more enjoyable, more accessible. It’s something I kind of had to find out the hard way, through trial and error. For years I thought of myself as very serious. I wanted to be a very serious, deep artist, as all young people do. But then when I really examined it, and told the truth about myself, I found that humor was something I just kind of instinctively went toward. That word comes up a lot with me—instinctive. It’s what I follow. I follow instincts instead of intellectual ideas. I really don’t think the artist is an intellectual. I believe that the artist is a set of nerves, nerve endings. That’s what an artist is.
As far as humor in art, it’s always been there. It’s certainly something I didn’t innovate or discover. I’m just part of a grand tradition of using humor, wit, parody and satire to convey things. It’s been going on for centuries, and I think it will always be there because people need it. People need it, I don’t know why. It’s just very human, very basic.