The abyss, 2015
The new museum hung an exuberant sign on the face of their building exclaiming hell, Yes! Which aptly sums up our feeling towards the sculpture’s creator, Ugo Rondinone. from his silver masks to his stone totems, he continues to engage the public in fresh and unexpected ways.
BP Your summer show at Eva Presenhuber was almost set up like a maze. Do you think of your brick wall paintings as barriers of protection?
BP Is it important for you to dominate the physical surroundings of the viewer?
BP Are your window paintings a reference to Duchamp’s Fresh Window?
BP Your door constructions never actually open, do they?
BP Let’s talk about your show at Sadie Coles in London.
BP When you say related to the natural world, does that mean from materials found in nature?
BP The same DayGlo colored rocks are part of a larger project, Seven Magic Mountains, which you are working on for the desert outside Las Vegas. UR I was thinking about the progression of Land Art, which traditionally has meant sculpture made to merge into nature. Whatever intervention the artists created would use the natural colors of the environment. In contrast, I wanted to present something unnatural.
BP Why do you think stones are a recurring theme in your artwork?
BP You have an exhibition I love John Giorno at Palais de Tokyo opening in Paris. Is it fair to say that John Giorno is most famous for being the subject of Andy Warhol’s movie, Sleep?
BP In the manner of, say, concrete poetry?
“REALITY CAN SPLIT UP INTO A THOUSAND MOMENTS.
YOU CHANGE YOUR REALITY DEPENDING ON WHAT YOU HAVE IN FRONT OF YOU.”
BP You have a close personal relationship with him?
UR We have been partners for eighteen years. But we’ve never lived together. We still visit each other.
BP Do you have a favorite John Giorno text painting?
BP Another archetype that we see repeated in your work is the clown, often a sad clown.
BP Sometimes you will split one of your target paintings so the top half sits on the floor like a sunset.
BP When you first began making them, were you aware of Kenneth Noland’s targets?
BP You have a spectacular studio. Can you tell us about the building?
BP And you live in this church as well?
BP Do you agree with John Currin that if you are a good artist it’s almost impossible to get ripped off?
BP Do you feel a kinship to other Swiss artists, be it Olivier Mosset or John Armleder or Urs Fischer?
BP I’ve seen older photographs of yours where it is your face superimposed onto a model’s body. What was this project about?
BP I recently found one of your artist books from 1988. It’s like a kid’s coloring book, only the imagery is highly sexualized and violent.
BP How do you define reality?