PaperCity Magazine

April 2015 - Houston

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commodity. Like, those years were when … MM: I think it was Julian Schnabel. Bill: A Texan, of course. MM: I remember distinctly that he was a conspicuous consumer, and the work he made was really fresh looking. All of a sudden it didn't matter if he was getting critically lambasted, because all of the popular magazines were presenting his incredible lifestyle. He drove around in a white Bentley convertible in SoHo, and it was a really small art world. I thought he was a terrific artist back in those days, and he made sure you knew that he was enjoying his success … I don't think I would ride around in a white Bentley, but I would have had a sports car if I'd had any money back then. Bill: And there were so few places to show. When you and I met, it was the height of the East Village period, which was right when the hierarchies of serious/non-serious, the welcoming of pleasure, the welcoming of dance music into the art world happened. I remember going to Holly Solomon parties at Area and thinking, 'Why would I ever leave this? This is such a fun time!' ON GAZING FORWARD Bill: Now you're getting to look at your work in a full retrospective mode. I mean, we're in your studio surrounded by 10 new paintings. You've got that dichotomy of being very focused on the now, and you're also having to look back at things that the general public has not seen. MM: I have no idea how the retrospective is going to be received, because it's all about stuff that's been in my closet forever. Bill: You were a known category. I mean, people saw the work. I think eventually, you'll be perceived as someone like Louise Bourgeois, who never stopped showing. There was a show every year in New York for her entire career, but she was just never brought into focus until later. MM: The art world loves old ladies and young bad boys, and you get to the old-lady age, and they'll resurrect you in a nanosecond. All of these artists that didn't have any careers at all are now showing at major galleries right now. They are dead or barely alive. Bill: So, if you had been a guy making the same work, your success would have come when you were younger? MM: I really don't know. I don't mind the way everything has turned out; I'm not at all bitter or angry about it. I feel like getting slightly marginalized keeps you hungry. It's not like I had a big success at 25, and I could make parodies of what I'm known for, for the rest of my life. And that's another trap. Success is really dangerous. I feel like I've been really lucky because I've always had enough; I didn't have to go teach high school five days a week and have terrible burnout. I did teach high school, so I know what it's like, and I passed out after class. I've managed to support myself, and I think that's a good life! I'm happy that I can keep making my work and not have to get a day job. Bill: Part of being able to survive the ups and downs is the vision … And looking back on the decades in the [exhibition catalog], there's this vision that begins with your earliest, when you were in your 20s, and then goes through these more schematic paintings … MM: That is my vision, that paradoxes the norm. Working with glamour and images of popular culture, which can be despised because they're low culture … That's what I'm more interested in, rather than depicting or telling people what to think, even about high-culture [such as] fashion. You get a lot of pleasure out of looking at these glamorous images, and yet you have shame because you even want to look … And then you also know that you will never look like that. Nobody ever looks that good; it doesn't exist. And so I'm trying to make that feeling in my work. What it feels like to look. Bill: You have to have retrospectives. You have to have a certain specificity about the size, and about the presence in the room, and the fact that looking at the paintings here, when I walk the 30 feet between here and that painting, it changes. It has like, six layers. MM: That's what I'm interested in working in, between all of the different meanings and trying to show them all at once. Bill: In case anyone thinks that they don't need to travel to get to see the whole thing … MM: Oh, yes, the whole idea of my paintings is how juicy they are. They're really well-painted … I mean, that's maybe not very modest of me, but I spend so much energy into making them just as luscious as I can, with all of this translucency. I don't work with oil paint; I work with enamel … and I work in these abstract areas until the whole thing comes together, and you can only experience it live. The Minter-Arning tête-à-tête continues at "I THINK, EVENTUALLY, YOU'LL BE PERCEIVED AS SOMEONE LIKE LOUISE BOURGEOIS." — BILL ARNING Arning and Minter en studio Marilyn Minter Marilyn Minter's Coral Ridge Towers (Mom Smoking), 1969 Marilyn Minter's Blade Runner, 2010 Marilyn Minter's Coral Ridge Towers (Mom Making Up), 1969 COLLECTION BETH RUDIN DEWOODY COURTESY THE ARTIST, SALON 94, NYC AND REGEN PROJECTS, L.A. COURTESY THE ARTIST, SALON 94, NYC AND REGEN PROJECTS, L.A. COLLECTION BETH RUDIN DEWOODY Marilyn Minter's Armpit, 2006 "MARILYN MINTER: PRETTY/ DIRTY" RETROSPECTIVE WHEN: OPENING NIGHT FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 6:30 TO 9 PM WHERE: CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM HOUSTON NOTE: MEDIA SPONSOR PAPERCITY; ART-WORLD CHIC ATTIRE; EXHIBITION ON VIEW APRIL 18 – AUGUST 2, 2015 CONTACT: CAMH.ORG Marilyn Minter's Clip, 2005 COLLECTION GREGORY R. MILLER AND MICHAEL WIENER, NYC

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