Q: Are you an only child?
A: No, I’m the youngest of five.
Q: Did that give you some impulse toward disguise and impersonation?
Q: From imitating or resisting the examples of your siblings?
A: No. It was more like ‘Hey, you guys, remember me? I’m here. I can be like this, I can be like that …’ There were so many years between me and my siblings. The closest to me is nine years older, the oldest is 19 years older, so that’s why I was always running after them.
Q: At what point did you start scanning the Internet for promptings instead of scanning the street?
A: I guess when I did the clowns. When I first started shooting the clowns, I tried to use my imagination and made some not very successful pieces. …
So I was curious what active clowns really look like, beyond circus clowns. And there are just so many people who call themselves clowns. Some of them look very professional and a little too sleek. … But then there are some whose websites show them performing outside on a hot, sweaty day, with their makeup running and they look like they’re wearing just any old sort of overalls and a polka-dot T-shirt they found in a thrift store. When I found those sorts of pictures, it seemed like the variety of things I could do was sort of endless.
Q:How does one series end and another begin?
A: There is usually a moment where I say, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I’m sick of it,’ or I feel like I’ve started to repeat myself within a series. Then I go into production for the series – there’s usually a deadline involved, so I’m focusing on that and doing whatever needs to be done for a show. Then I’m sort of drained or distanced from working, so I clean up my studio and put things away. Even though I might have other ideas on a back burner, a couple of years might go by before I get back into the studio again.
Q: What kind of working hours do you keep?
A: What used to happen is that I’d take a roll of film and shoot it, and maybe do two just in case. … All I’d work with was Polaroids, but contact-sheet-size Polaroids, so even using a magnifying glass it wasn’t like looking at a negative or a slide. … So then I’d take the makeup off, take the film to the lab, wait two or three hours till it was done, which was always a good time to do errands. Now I feel like I don’t have time for errands, and I have to order things online.
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