RM: There are many other applications for that word as well. Socially, it is applied to a service industry. And, in most other languages, it simply means “drawing.” The best aesthetic of design is one that follows function. The aesthetics that result from the function are inextricably tied to the design. There is no practical function to art. (This is one of the reasons why I love art. I love it’s absurd, almost illogical existence.) This fact frees art from being tied to an “aesthetic of design.” So, no, it does not apply to my work. MM: When seeing a show or visiting a gallery, my family have always played a game: we each select an artwork we wished we had been able to make, and one which we wished we owned. What do you wish you had made, and what would you most like to own?
Artwork from top left:
Island Universes (Deer), 2007 777 unique buttons printed with archival ink on paper and pinned to raw canvas 72 x 72 in. (182.9 x 182.9 cm.) Published by Pace Editions, Inc.
Women Trophy 8 , 2011 aluminum with gold paint 24 x 24 x 27 in. (61 x 61 x 68.6 cm.)
RM: When I see work that impresses me, I am inspired to make something better. I don’t wish I had made something, instead I wish to make something else.
Untitled (Red/Gold/Pink), 2007 car paint on welded aluminum 49 x 42 x 42 in. (124.5 x 106.7 x 106.7 cm.) Published by Pace Editions, Inc.
As far as ownership goes, I’d like to own more of my own time. And space. To own a space-time that is unique unto one’s self is the ultimate expression of existence in the universe. I am here, in this place, right now. I own it. MM: Your work is (still) often compared to Warhol’s. Has the Warhol name become a cultural shorthand that has lost its critical resonance, having been applied so much to so many? RM: Yes. MM: Your recent show at Subliminal Projects Gallery in LA saw you deconstructing corporate logos as part of a “sponsorship redux” that revisited an exhibition staged eight years ago. At that time you said “My hope was that a content-deprived exhibition
comprised of only sponsorship logos would create enough pause for us to consider both the fine art of corporate sponsorship and the corporate sponsorship of fine art.” How does this show further this consideration? RM: The SponsorshipRedux exhibition differs from the original in that this time I made artworks using only the sponsor’s deconstructed logos as the compositional elements. Three six foot paintings were made and two prints. MM: What are the similarities and/ or differences between your critique of corporate iconography and Banksy’s? RM: I don’t know his work well enough to say, but some of what I have seen is really great. MM: Both you and Shepard Fairey have capitalized on selling messages in your artwork very successfully, but have built your careers on different sides of the traditional gallery and sponsorship fence. What advice do you have for young artists looking to pursue a similar means of expression? RM: When an artist achieves an established level of popular success by making work that resonates with a broad audience, that work is valued with a certain amount of cultural capital. Artists can capitalize on this value in a number of different ways. And, other individuals or corporations can also capitalize on this value. Commodifying the art by making sellable objects, licensing the rights to reproduce the art, and allowing the work to be used to sell other things that have nothing to do with the art are a few examples of how to do this. I have always chosen to maintain control of my work and ensure that external agendas are not attached to the work. Advice: Just find your own way by figuring out what your core values are and then staying true to those. MM: What time and labor-saving techniques do you employ, if any? RM: The technique is to not try to save on labor. MM: Metropolis said that you were God. JMW Turner said “The sun is God.” A wellknown bit of graffiti claimed “Clapton is God.” What gives? RM: God gives.