Kevin Roberts, CNZM and once chief executive officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, once wrote to me about 20 years ago when I was just beginning to dabble in the WWW. I had written to him to ask what he thought of my portrait of Bill Gates. Not a lot, he replied, Bill not being an icon of his Kevin wrote that he has portraits of Brigitte Bardot & Steve McQueen. Point made.
Kevin Roberts was also he who said, maybe famously I'm not sure, that he hates hearing the word, "but". So ever since my contact with him and the therein inspiration of his "One Word Equity", and other brilliant ideas of his, I have remembered his hatred of that possible vile B word. I use it nevertheless But always with a capital B.
Later I burned my portrait of Bill Gates that had taken me approximately 400 hours to paint. I had presented it to Microsoft in Munich shortly after 1999, the year that I painted it. It stayed there in some back room for a while before they asked me to take it away. So even my contact persons in Microsoft in Munich said they didn't want Bill's face to represent their company. He wasn't an icon for them either. I had painted it based on the terribly weak idea that I could sell the richest person in the world a portrait of him for 50.000. I now know deep in my heart that money is not a healthy reason to do anything, certainly not Art.
How fortunate for me then to recognize a crisis to be of more use than all of Bill Gates's money. Yes. Everybody gets what they deserve. Me included.
A year later after Bill, in the year of 2000, I was to be hit by the biggest crisis of my whole life, the worst moment of sadness I had ever experienced. Separation from someone I loved dearly.
What happened then does not matter to me now. Crucial is how serious I took the crisis on. By the way of two Cows. Their tranquility was what initiated my coming home. That is all that counts. Being earnest with everything that comes your way. No B's, no excuses. Earnestness is all you need. To find your real home.
Here at DEPO2015 there is an incredibly powerful atmosphere of unity and creative potential for cultural & creative industries to unite in a surrounding environment of coworkers & makers bringing international art movements together.
MoMA Lemon Gallery • "The Artist is Not Present" - Exhibition final preparations