Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Way I See It: Artists on Politics

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Way I See It: Artists on Politics

Article excerpt

Does art make a difference?

Absolutely. Art is what makes life colourful.

Should politics and art mix?

Art and politics are essentially about the same things: people and society.

Does money corrupt an artist?

There is a beauty in art that comes from desperation and having no money. There is also beauty in people who create great things but who make no money from it. There is beauty in simplicity.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Is your work for the many or for the few?

I want everyone to like my music, a person in Hackney with skinny jeans or an old woman in Devon with a cat. I want to attract all ages, all races and all genders. Pretentious music isn't as truthful as the kind that brings people together.

Which artist do you most admire?

Grace Jones. I also really admire the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto: he makes simple music and understands the beauty of space.

Which artist do you least admire?

I could like anything, given the right context; Mr Blobby is probably fantastic when you're drunk.

What product would you advertise?

Vintage organs, because they are so rare and cool and I collect them. Nothing else.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?

I'd like to be a political journalist. Or a professional masseuse. Perhaps I may even have been a lollipop lady!

If you were world leader, what would be your first law?

I would eliminate money as currency. Instead, there would be a currency of skills. …

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