I came across this set of questions online in some art magazine or other and thought it would be fun to answer them. They’re slightly more imaginative than the usual type of questions you get in these things.
What’s your favourite ritual? Morning cups of Earl Grey tea or coffee (mood dependent)
What is your favourite title of an art work? I’ve no idea, but ‘The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)’ is surely one of the greatest titles ever for a song (by Tom Waits)
What music are you listening to? Earlier on it was some 50s rock n’roll, the day before it was Hawkwind, tomorrow it will be something else.
What is art for? I’m not sure it’s necessarily ‘for’ anything – although obviously it can be. I could come up with all kinds of high-faluting ideas about whether art is to inform, educate or entertain, but really I don’t think it matters. The reason to paint a picture, make a film, write a poem or whatever is because you have to. Because you’ve got ideas in your mind and that’s the only way you know how to get them out. If people derive inspiration from it, then that’s great, but from a producer’s point of view I think art is fundamentally quite selfish.
What should change? People’s attitudes – especially towards other people and the planet we live on. I don’t want to come across as all hippyish or anything, but really we should treat ourselves and others far better than we do.
What should stay the same? The good things about humanity – and there are some, despite our attempts to prove otherwise. The kindness, the honesty, the curiosity – we’re all capable of these things.
What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you? A programme on the work of Rene Magritte. I can’t remember which painting in particular, they all just fascinated me.
What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do? Still writing, but in a different context. Working from home doing articles about stuff which excites me. If not that, then maybe being a therapist or something.
What are you reading? The last thing was a graphic novel called ‘Gotham by Gaslight’ imagining a Victorian-era Batman against Jack the Ripper. Wasn’t as good as I was hoping, but not bad.