studio was on 88th and Columbus. This was back in ‘78 before gentrification up there. It was a great experience, and a way for me to realize my potential but also to face the challenge of what it takes to be an artist full time as a career path. And quite frankly, it freaked me out. Pearlstein didn’t paint from photographs? No, he’s all from real life models. How did you get interested in photography? My interest in photography started when I was seven years old and my father handed me my first camera, an old Leica, and then from there I got into doing black and white printing. I had a little lab in a bathroom next to my bedroom. It was great. My father was an inventor, so he always nurtured that part of me. The painting came much later in my life, but photography was always the basis of how I see. So, you had aspirations to be a painter but you loved photography? At that point in my life, in my college years, painting and photography were separate in some ways. The immediacy of photography was what made it so appealing—the fact that I could work on compositional elements without laboring over a single object or project for months on end. And in fact I had a self-portrait project in painting that took me two semesters to complete, and it almost killed me—it was one of those things that kept getting better and better as I worked on it, so I’d have to go back and re-work it. And it just became this really frustrating process, so photography was the relief to that tedium. 85
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.