To be an artist is not about fame; it's about art, which is this intangible thing that has got to have lots of integrity, whereas being famous doesn't really take any integrity. But I think you have to admit that you want to be famous, otherwise you can't be an artist. Art and fame together are like a desire to live forever.
For me, art is always a kind of theater. When I started the spot paintings I made them as an endless series. But I was never serious about it being an endless series. It was just an implied endless series. The theater means you just have to make it look good for that moment in the spotlight.
Art is the closest you can get to immortality, though it's a poor substitute - you're working for people not yet born - and people want it because it is brilliant. It ends up in museums anyway; the rich have to give it back to the people, it's their only option. There are no pockets in a shroud.
But I always liked the fact that you get these totally unacceptable images, but they're taken by a really expensive photographer, with great light, and in terms of the quality of the photograph it's a great photograph, but in terms of imagery it's unacceptable, and I like that contradiction.
But I think it's more that when you're young, you're invincible, you're immortal - or at least you think you are. The possibilities are limitless, you're inventing the future. Then you get older and suddenly you have a history. It's fixed. You can't change anything. I find that a bit disturbing, to be honest.
I was taught to confront things you can't avoid. Death is one of those things. To live in a society where you're trying not to look at it is stupid because looking at death throws us back into life with more vigour and energy. The fact that flowers don't last for ever makes them beautiful.
For me, art is always a kind of theater. When I started the spot paintings, I made them as an endless series. But I was never serious about it being an endless series. It was just an implied endless series. The theater means you just have to make it look good for that moment in the spotlight.