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Robert Longo
 
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I think I make art for brave eyes. I don't want to make art that will pat you on the back and tell you everything is going to be okay. I want to make something that's much more confronting. You don't look at it, it looks at you as much as you look at it.
...
It [the ultimate priority of work] is the picture, the image that it creates. But how it's made is important. What ends up happening is I showed my assistants how to work on the drawing style. But I touch everything. It's not like a movie. That's why I want to make a movie, where people know what their responsibilities are. When you make art and you have people work for you, they don't know what it is that you're doing. I'm like quality control. I wanted to negate this pursuit of craft that was emerging in the culture in relationship to the art world where everyone was going, "Wow, it's a painting!" So what ended up happening was that I wanted to set up a relationship by creating something that was so heartless in craft, like a gigantic drawing, but if somebody went ahead and thought about how it was drawn, it would be an awesome craft.
...
Drawing when I was a kid was an escape for me, and now as an adult it's a profession. I always draw. I've always drawn. I love the line that comes from the hand, it's real power. Now my favorite kinds of drawings are the sketches I make to plan the works from. They're the most personal. I got a B.F.A. in sculpture, which was the closest thing in the college catalogue to a drawing degree. I was never inclined to painting, it seemed too messy, too slow. I also have a major in art history, those are my weapons. My drawings are like sculptures, when I draw with graphite I smude it with my fingers, move it around physically, it's like clay. Painting is painting on the surface, covering up, where drawing is putting the picture into the paper like a photograph.

Robert Longo in interview with Richard Price, Robert Longo: Men in the Cities, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, p.94-100.)

 

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