INTERVIEW : JIM DINE, ACCADEMIA DI SAN LUCA, ROME

Rome, correspondance.
Interview de Jim Dine à Rome par Raja El Fani :
Jim Dine: “House of Words – The Muse and Seven Black Paintings” à l’Accademia Nazionale di San Luca de Rome du 27 Octobre 2017 au 3 Février 2018

Inferno: Why did you start to work on hearts?
Jim Dine: The heart is part of my iconography since 1965 when I made the costumes and the sets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the Shakespeare play in San Francisco and I used it as one of the motifs for the figure Puck and there was a big set with a heart and I thought you know it’s something I can hang my paint on, it’s something I could use forever, it’s universal. Universal… And I was able to put it down, I’ve been able to put it down, in fact, I’m working on new hearts now, and they are always different: you can make a landscape within it, you can do anything with it, it is everything. It’s a sexual symbol, it’s a symbol so-called love, it’s formal, it’s very beautiful but it can also be horrible.

So it is always casual formally. You don’t have your personal heart shape?
No. Someone gave me once an ex voto made of wood from Brazil or from Latin America, against heart disease. There’s so many ways you can use the heart shape, both naturalistically with valves or you can use it in a formal way in its formal shape. You can hold it in your hand, and it beats, it beats… It’s a living soul.

What is your final conclusion about heart shape associated to love?
There is no final conclusion till your death!

And what is your artistic view of love?
It’s not your business, forget it! (Laugh)

Why?
Because it’s private.

So, if it’s private, love can’t be mixed with art?
No it can be, it can be mixed with many things. But the heart is a subject, it’s something to paint about.

Would you mind if you’ll be remembered as the heart artist?
I wouldn’t mind, I just want to be remembered!

No doubt you will! Is there a link between the beginning of your research and what you do now?
It’s still me, I’m just a better painter than I was. I learned a lot in all these years, I’ve got a lot of skills: I’ve got a big heart.

Propos recueillis par Raja El Fani,
à Rome

Jim Dine parmi ses œuvres à l’Accademia de San Luca à Rome, photo Raja El Fani.

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