Here’s a long Guardian story profiling the work spaces of artists who will be featured in the Tate’s upcoming show, Pop Life. The writer, Sean O’Hagan, wants to say something terribly clever and witty about selling out (supposedly, the show was originally to be called Sold Out) but doesn’t seem to have enough ideas to really get an oar in. Instead, we get a rehash of the but-they-don’t-even-paint-their-own-works variety. Worse still, in a world still weighed down by a half-decade of lax credit, all O’Hagan can point to is the supposed art market bubble. Nevermind that the same period was characterized by bubbles of all sorts and no one has sufficiently explained why art would be one of “assets” affected while others were not. Nonetheless, the story is worth reading if you want to see some significant artworld figures in their natural habitat: the studio. Here’s part of the entry on Gavin Turk:
The first thing you see as you enter is a large Warhol-style silkscreen of Turk as Joseph Beuys. Identity, ambiguity, self-perception, these are the amorphous themes that Turk plays with constantly in his work.
“I’m very interested in cliche and the notion of what art can be, so Warhol is a constant presence. He’s there in the Pop piece, of course [Turk’s waxwork of himself as an amalgam of Sid Vicious and a gunslinging Elvis Presley] and in my silk-screened self-portraits.”
Turk jumps up and drags out a silkscreen of himself as Warhol, complete with a fright wig. “I kind of think of Warhol every time I sit at a computer. There’s an art button on every computer that allows you to Warholise even your family snapshots and portraits. That’s how omnipresent he is, even if we don’t realise it.”
Turk employs six assistants to help make his work. “It’s more about time management than anything,” he says. “They do stuff I don’t have the time to do.” In an adjoining room that looks like a garage, he has an industrial-size paint sprayer. A long table covered in paint and paper doubles as a silkscreen bed. “We’re not that good, but that kind of works because I want to keep the image scruffy. Professional silkscreeners always do it too perfectly.”
The Art of Selling Out (Guardian)