Over the years I have accumulated a lot of old worn out brushes either from over use or neglect. While being a full time father of my daughter Liza, I often had to stop in the middle of painting and dash off to pick her up or take her to school. I would drop my brushes meaning to get back and clean them later.
Later often time never came due to problems.
So these brushes would become stiff and unusable. However, I could never throw them out as they were colorful objects. So, I saved them later to turn them into art. It was like having an old horse , you put them out to pasture after all the hard work they had done. I also kept old paint tubes. In this work I have harnessed both Cutting out shapes from the flattened tubes, I was able to open the shapes and have a pure red or yellow to lay alongside the roughed up brushes. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to recycle stuff this way.There are so many things that get thrown away that with a little imagination can be turned into art.
Arte Povera came about this way. I met Marcel Duchamp once. I did some art moving jobs for Virginia Zabriskie back in the sixties. I delivered a package to him at an old elegant brownstone on W 11 Street. He sat in a wingback chair in the front room and on a small table next to him was a sculpture of a hand with a chess piece. I was not aware at the time that he was an important artist. I had seen a piece of his in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a huge work with cracked glass and I was aware of his “Nude Descending the Staircase”, so I should have known better. We exchanged pleasantries and I left . I regret not mentioning the work I had seen in Philadelphia or just talking to him more. I missed a good opportunity.