Thursday, August 20, 2009

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

When I came up with the idea for the billboards I started to think of works that had impacted me, potentially leading me to the creation of this project. I thought of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" billboard project in 1991. This was before I was an artist or even thinking about studying art. I was working as a manager at Bloomingdale's department store and every day on the walk to the DeKalb Ave train station in Brooklyn, I noticed this billboard. First I thought it was an ad for something—maybe it would change in a week. Some weeks later, I noticed it never changed; this was it. But, somehow, the slow unfolding of the work through repeated viewings over many weeks resonated with me and I began to understand and really "feel" the work. Eight years later when I began my art studies, his work was revealed to me through books, critical theory and museums--all necessary to my growth as an artist. But that initial exposure to Felix Gonzalez-Torres' work remains the most profound.

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