PRINT April 2003

’80s AGAIN

Chris Ofili

In 1987, when I was starting to paint, prominent American painters like Basquiat, Taaffe, Condo, and Baechler were all influences. Then there were the Germans—Kippenberger, Oehlen, Baselitz—and also Clemente. But ultimately the fact that there was so much going on made me realize I had to follow my own direction. It really resonated when I came across Philip Guston’s comment that when you begin working on a painting, you have your friends, family, critics, and everyone else in the studio with you; one by one they leave; and eventually, if you’re lucky, you leave too.

As told to Larissa Harris