He was looking towards what the computer was doing to imagery, whether it was radar telescopes or ... images that were coming out of particle collision. He would subscribe to Scientific American, he would subscribe to different science journals, and he was looking for that new extension of the human eye that was only brought to us through new technologies. He wanted to re-present those on canvases as though they really came out of a computer. Like, came off an assembly line rather than having the human hand anywhere visible.
And then, of course, he had a profound set of reasons behind that approach... The ideas swarmed around works by authors like Paul Virilio, the French philosopher and political critic. He was very into what was happening in the intellectual French scene at the time.
The approach to the work was trying to escape from... what he called "Cro-Magnon man paintings." [laughs] Which is the UGHHH! UNNGGHHH! gestural, splat. Whether it was Schnabel's work or David Salle's work, he was very anti the directions they were heading. And he really believed that our society was living in a matrix-like illusion, and that it was being fabricated by a powerful shadowy elite that was basically providing most of our stimulus input through media.
He had an interesting way of looking at the world, and he wanted his work to kind of punch through that.
MC: Could you talk through the process behind one painting that you worked on during that period?
You know it's funny, because he never titled the paintings. So I can't speak to a name [laughs].