Ed Moses: On Painting
I am fascinated by the way that artists talk about their work. Almost two years ago, painter Ed Moses was interviewed by Kristine McKenna at the gallery. She asked him, “What did you do in these paintings that you’ve never done before?”
Ed Moses: Nothing. I don’t believe in change—I believe in mutation, and every painting I make comes out of the painting that preceded it. There’s one thing in my work that never mutates, however, and that’s the fact that I don’t conceive of imagery when I work. I never think pictorially—what I do is work physically. I like pushing and shoving paint around, but I’m not trying to express anything and I don’t want to be creative—that’s a word I’ve always hated. What I want to do is hang out with the materials until something appears that I had nothing to do with.
As for this new work, I’ve always liked watercolors and always wanted to make them big, and I’ve been painting wet into wet for the last twenty years. Truthfully, I’m baffled as to why people are responding to these paintings so much more enthusiastically than they have to other work I’ve made using the same technique. I guess every dog has his day, even a dirty dog. All my friends have had their day, but I never have, so now is my moment. I don’t think it has anything to do with the work, though. I think it’s just my turn.
Kristine: How do you know when a painting is finished?
Ed Moses: It lights up.