Putting paint on a life size sculpture is one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced. Building up the color on a little part of the life size sculptures so it got more saturated, that little part started to take on a quality of really being there, or really existing. The second thing is that I was able to suspend something. I suspended paint up in space. And I suspended this part of the figure that (because of the paint) felt to now exist. Something that has worried and bothered me about sculpture is that you can’t make things that fly or that are floating like you can very easily do in painting. In painting, there are lots of angels. And they fly above other things. You can’t make an angel in sculpture. You’re more restricted to space as we mostly live in it. But when I put paint on a life size standing sculpture it addressed this. So these are two noteworthy things that resulted from painting them — existence or presence, and another space upwards. I think the figure was important for these things. I don’t think they would have happened without the figure. If I were putting paint on a Franz West form that even had the height of a human figure (just as an example) I don’t think they would have happened. I guess one reason for this is because they would not have had that conversion to suddenly seeming to exist. One more thing about painting the life size sculptures is that after working on them with paint and bringing some of the paint to be more saturated and a deeper color, I had a feeling of the figure having more room around it, room that wasn’t there before. This then happened to everything else that was around the sculptures too. And it also happened inside the sculptures, too. There was more room even inside them. The sculpture felt enlarged. Then everything felt enlarged. Like in the arm, the bones seemed to have been loosened from each other, so that the shoulder and elbow had so much room in them. It didn’t lose function. The arm still would have worked. But it could be long and loose. Long and loose are okay at describing this, but it was really that the nature of the space felt changed. It made me think of some paintings, how bodies or just parts of them are on purpose made too long sometimes or in Rubens how they don’t look like they would work because he puffed them up and rounded them so much. They’re loosened. And in this infinite spaciousness that contains looseness, with every thing loosening from each other thing, there was a sense of things being together in a place with profound peace. Part of this is because with the feeling of infiniteness there is no way to use anything up, no way to occupy. There would never not be enough of it.
After seeing the show, someone said to me that like how Giacometti could only make skinny sculptures, I can only make sculptures with problems or that are messed up. My title has to do with this, at least obliquely. I realized that the foundation for all of these artworks is people. Jock is my sculpture teacher. Weixian helped me cast the life size sculptures and the small plaster sculpture and showed me a lot about casting. Marc runs Gandt, the gallery, and is my friend. In this case, three people made the sculptures possible and are really the only reason for their existence. A person, standing there, happening, can cause something else to happen. And what they caused is probably as complicated and maybe as mysterious as a person. Most of the sculptures were made at the New York Studio School. Most of them were also made from a live model. This show feels connected to my last show at Gandt, to me, despite the differences.