The best artists I know are secretly hilarious. They giggle and laugh and are more often mischievious or odd or out of sync, often absurd often visual thoughts bouncing from out of nowhere in the conversation like a stray soccer ball from a neighbor. But when you take our picture, we have to look really fucking serious. Deadly serious, like Picasso.
But not John.
John was funny out in the open. He was funny in his work. One of the greats. He loved funny people. I know from funny.
I met him over twenty years ago before I had my first solo show. I was a huge admirer and his studio was just down the street. I begged for an invitation and he invited me over.
The first time I saw it I was in awe of the foam core models he had created of all the museum shows around the world in was in the process of staging featuring large photographic images with strategically placed colorful dots over the faces. He laid out the visual narrative experience like a choreographer.
We decided to get Mexican food up the street and on the way I opened my trunk and showed him some paintings I had been working on or completed.