My advice is always to make a lot of art; to make a lot of art, then look at what you have made and then think about what you have done. If you think first, you will never do anything or you will do something boring. Art doesn’t exist until the artist has finished making it. The differences between one’s responses as a critic, teacher, dealer and curator are as follows: As a critic I presume the art is finished and on purpose. As a teacher, I presume the art needs work. So the same work that I might like as a critic, I might find wanting as a teacher, simply because my rule for looking at student art is: if you’re not sick don’t call that doctor. As a dealer you’re looking for quality, of course, but you’re also looking for evidence of the artist’s work habits and commitment to a long-term career. As a curator you’re looking for what fits.
Thirty-five thousand MFAs a semester, 90 percent of whom never make another work of art.
With the artists, I don’t teach, I coach. I can’t tell them how to make art. I tell them to make more art. I tell them to get up early and stay up late. I tell them not to quit. I tell them if somebody else is already making their work. My job is to be current with the discourse and not be an asshole. That’s all I wanted in a professor.