Excerps from Nozkowski's Brooklyn Rail interview with John Yau:
"Conciousness is complicated...."
"Ideas of perfection are usually based on what we have seen in the past, on what we already know. You can give anything a shot, any idea--no matter how odd or impossible seeming."
"...I don't believe success in a project like this can be measured by how easily readable my image is to other people--it is instead measured by how visually rich and complex the painting is. The picture will be of John, but it is really about what I can find in trying to see him."
"Improvisation, however, is essential to my work. I want my ideas to be located at the tip of my brush. I want my materials to talk back to me. I want to be surprised."
"I've talked about how I like painting best when it turns a little homely, turns away from the grandiose and opts for simple desire. To really want to possess something and to be willing to do anything to get it will take you pretty far. That's the reason so much outsider painting looks so great."
"This is the golden age for art-making. Not only do we have permission to paint anything in any way we like, but we also have audiences who are interested in playing the game along with us, willing to try to follow our ideas. In our studio life we are not only free--we are meaningfully free. Make a mark on the canvas. This mark can be said to represent anything I want--no problem. The success or failure of the painting has now shifted over from the subject to the strength and intelligence of the painter's work. This was always true, of course, but now it is self-evident. Keeping honest is the hardest part: If a mark can be anything, why bother grounding it at all?"
"One of the nice things about grounding works in the real world is that you don't need a position--you have a place. Willful eccentricity can be a real problem. It's not a high art crime, but certainly a misdemeanor--tiring stuff."
"Well, you know, there are people who want to understand visual language as something akin to advertising images, stop signs, and stick figures--the most banal graphic communication. This sense of communication is pretty bad, ridiculous conventions that shut off the possibility of really seeing and understanding something. At the best it's common denominator stuff--at worst it's authoritarian."