the one audience worth playing to

Eric Fischl: ...there’s two audiences. And there’s only one audience that’s worth playing to. And it’s an audience of voices that are in your head that are made-up heroes, artists I admire –

Alec Baldwin: Such as?

EF: Well, there’s historical figures. The greatest arms sculptor, Michelangelo, say, the greatest anger painter, Max Beckmann. They have very particular things for me that I admire that I either emulate or can’t do and wish I could and et cetera, et cetera, but they’re clarifying. And there’s the mother voice, the father voice, the gym teacher voice, the whatever. And –

AB: A chorus.

EF: Yeah. And they’re all in there, sort of, saying what I can and can’t do. What I should and shouldn’t do, et cetera. Each painting is proving to these voices that this was the right move, that I was going to do something that they would admire, something that would finally shut them up, you know, whatever.

Anyway, this is an audience that stands outside of time. It’s constant and it has a quality, a standard to it, that I understand. I can tell when my paintings are falling short of that performance, that it didn’t reach where I needed it to go because I knew that I was falling short of this person I admire, this person that I hate.

- Eric Fischl, in conversation with Alec Baldwin for his Here's the Thing podcast. You can listen to the interview here, or read the transcript here.

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