PRINT April 2003

’80s THEN

Mike Bidlo

ROBERT ROSENBLUM: Today you’re thought of as the artist who makes replicas of twentieth-century old masters, from Cézanne and Picasso to Warhol and Lichtenstein. But at the beginning of the ’80s, you could’ve been billed as a performance artist, with your Jackson Pollock performance piece at P.S. 1 and your public re-creation of Guernica in Los Angeles in 1984.

MIKE BIDLO: I don’t see a dichotomy between performance and artmaking. For me performance adds another component to the work; it’s a way to create a context for my paintings and sculptures. For instance, the story about Jackson Pollock peeing in Peggy Guggenheim’s fireplace—which was the basis for Jack the Dripper at Peg’s Place—offered some interesting insights into Pollock’s drip technique. The performative element of the installation was there to help illustrate the connection I was making between urinating and action painting.

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