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PRINT March 2003

’80s THEN

McDermott & McGough

BOB NICKAS: If you were to make a panoramic history painting that would represent you in the ’80s, what would you paint?

PETER McGOUGH: We already made that painting, in 1985. It’s the two of us, and it says NOTORIETY. And on one side there are positive minds, temples to fame, success . . .

McDermott & McGough, 1989.


DAVID McDERMOTT: We’re in tailcoats at the very top, and all the other people are trying to climb up.

PM: We took it from an illustration in Hollywood Babylon. It has a huge eye and says PUBLIC EYE. It was about the art world.

DM: Hubert Burda, the publishing heir, has it hanging in his cafeteria to inspire the workers.

BN: What if I commissioned you to make a companion painting? Since your career is about looking back in time, how would you paint that scene today?

DM: In the beginning we were peripheral in the art world. We were like decorative oddities that were allowed to be there. Julian [Schnabel]

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