PRINT April 2020


I KNOW I SPEAK FOR MANY ARTISTS when I say that I would not be who I am without John. After four decades, his throwaway words still slosh happily around my brain, coloring my decisions with his wry humor and slapping down pretension at every turn. It’s hard to think of another artist who has had this kind of effect on me. While digging into his personal history to write this piece, I was stunned by how much of my artistic makeup is a composite of fragments of his own.

When I was a first-year student at CalArts, straight from the Hawaiian Islands—a place where my highest aspirations had been painting pot leaves and perfect waves—I was deeply confused by John. He wasn’t exactly scary—he didn’t have that way about him—but he was bewildering. While it was quite clear that John had long been the program’s heart and soul, it was also evident that he was becoming disinterested

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2020 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.