Someone asked me about a comment I made in the little video posted here – what did I mean by ‘ the pain becomes a pearl’?
That has to do with a story: When my son Eldad was six, he came home from school, very excited – he had found out how an oyster makes a pearl. Grit gets into the oyster, he explained, and that causes pain. So the oyster covers the grit, to stop the pain, and that makes a pearl.
It was the best metaphor I’ve ever heard for making art.
It certainly feels exactly true of my painting. For a long time I pursued it without really knowing why, but the not knowing was very valuable to me. I never knew what I was doing until I started doing it, but always that pain, that maddening irritation demanded I keep working. The only relief is in creating.
So I kept at it, trying to produce a pearl, something holy and transcendent. Is it possible? Who knows, but you keep at it until you’ve achieved it to whatever degree you can.
That’s what Giotto did and he has lived until now. I want to be a part of the history of doing that, of having devoted my life to that.