Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Way I See It

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Way I See It

Article excerpt

Does art make a difference?

Yes, of course it does. If there was no art it would be a dire situation. Regardless of what some people might want you to think, art always helps people put their views across.

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Should politics and art mix?

When art is juxtaposed with a political message, it can put pressure on that situation and bring about change. My work has a social slant, but I wouldn't say I'm ever directly trying to challenge political situations with it. If people want to read into it, fine. I'm just telling it like it is. The whole thing about kids being out of control in this country, that's down to a lack of funding from the government. The places that young people used to go to have an artistic voice, have someone listen to them--the community centres, the art projects--have all gone.

Is good art a product of inspiration or perspiration?

You need an idea to make it worth working hard.

Does money corrupt an artist?

It hasn't corrupted me. I think when it becomes ridiculous it can corrupt anyone, an artist or anyone else.

Is your work for the many or the few?

It's for the few, I guess. I've always been a bit self-indulgent. It's very individual: if people like it, they like it. I've never tried to make art or music for the masses.

Which artist do you most admire, and why?

Miles Davis has always been a very major influence for music. In terms of visual art, someone like Futura [the graffiti artist Futura 2000] is an early inspiration. …

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