Otino Corsano : It could be said that your work is "selfish" in terms of the manner in which the repetitive symbols you employ act both as a personal language and relate back to your own life and struggles as an artist. Do you agree with this egocentric reading?
Joshua Abelow : I think my work irritates some people because they read it at face value and see it as only being about me. Of course, the work is about me. But I'm also interested in using the self as a larger political and social metaphor. I'm drawn to making work that can make people feel uncomfortable or uneasy, or even the type of work that might be dismissed at first because it seems too stupid or simple. Often this involves something that has made a lasting impression on me, but which I may not have cared for very much at first. The first time I saw de Kooning's paintings, I thought they were terrible. Sometimes content reveals itself over time and I'm interested in how this happens. I don't want to spell things out or tell people what to think in any didactic way.
source: ArtUS 2008