PRINT February 1993


He saw Billie Holiday @ Carnegie Hall, “but it wasn’t a good night—near the end.”

He’s watched “Pillow Talk” 4 times, and “Some Like it Hot” is one of his “all time favorites”

He doesn’t go for science-fiction “at all.”

He doesn’t like “paint all over my clothes or to get my hands dirty.”

Consequently, he keeps his studio very tidy.

“Too much contact w/ the outer world” gets him depressed and bored, but “if I’m by myself I’m usually O.K.”

He knew Eva Hesse: “She lived in this building a while w/ Donald Droll while she was sick. Dear old Donald.”

He played the violin when he was “a kid.”

I told him that I make work specifically for 2 or 3 people on earth @ any given time and asked was it the same for him. “Not exactly,” he said. “I do make it for myself—but I want the truckdriver who takes it away to say some thing too. And there are messages specifically for other painters, a lot about craft and aesthetics—the decorative—which is an unconscious part of what artists do.”

I asked him why R. Prince asked him about Last Exit to Brooklyn in their Interview. He said he didn’t know. “It was just an esoteric question I suppose.” I told him I met Selby a couple of weeks ago in Hollywood, how exciting it was for me. I’d read his book about 5 times since I was 18. He said he had met him too, a long time ago, when he was staying @ the Chelsea and was a friend of Frank O’Hara.

I told him the Charles Ray piece @ Feature reminded me of him, and he could understand that.

I asked him if he thought you could tell a person’s sexuality by the art they make, and he said that “sometimes you can. Someone like Pontormo is one of the great queens of all time. Some art is neuter: fascist art—Franco’s Tomb is devoid of all sexuality. I think my art is fairly repressed actually.”

I told him that I practically cried once in front of his painting Sylvia in his “From the Early 60’s” show @ Robert Miller. He didn’t know right off which one I meant. I described it: a woman, maybe in front of a window, lots of yellow, in the smaller room behind the desk. “Oh yes,” he said. He seemed surprised. “She’s drenched in sunlight. Its neither happy nor sad, like the light in your work.”

17. DEC. 1992/NYC

Jack Pierson visited and photographed Alex Katz in his studio on 20 November 1992.

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