An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned it’s their choice but I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself. That to me is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and not reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.
I know that if I’m not scared, something’s wrong. The thrill is what’s scary.
It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art, and also ignorant of surgery. Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues.
I am a God.