With a quick track back to my painting days, David Salle has always been an influence. Initially with a more restricted tonal colour palette, though recently more colourful style, he juxtaposes historic and contemporary imagery with boldly rendered symbols. These apparently independent and unrelated images can then suddenly strike you as potentially meaning something else. So W, X, Y just exist on the same canvas, then you begin to think that W + X + Y might be related somehow, and therefore mean something new. But if they equal Z, then you can often start to question yourself – worry that that was your thought.
I always like this playing with perception – what we are supposed to think, our immediate thought, and then being steered somewhere else. It can allow us to play with taboos (which is probably too strong a word) but the artist hasn’t actually said that, we have by ‘our’ perception. We are contributing to the work – and not always in a way we would like to have done.
David Salle is another smart guy and you can see that in his art criticism and his analysis of other artists work.
I think it is good for me also to have influences outside of the photographic world. I went to see an exhibition of his work in New York once, back in the day when I didn’t have kids and could go to a city based around a gallery visit or an exhibition opening. I should have done that more.