“For some reason this painting reminds me of The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rilke. I read this book while I was living in Paris for a month doing all the bohemian things a young artist does in Paris. I remembered Malte describing a man he encounters in the street on his walks around the city. This man has the most violent tics; his whole body jumps and his posture becomes distorted by the onslaught of these uncontrollable cramps. But still he tries to keep up his appearance. The distorted figure, as a way of expressing or signifying dysfunctional inner workings, is a key feature in my work. It also reminds me of Egon Schiele (I’m not sure that’s a good thing though) and a photograph I once saw by Josef Koudelka of a gypsy playing the violin (which I do think is a good thing). The character in the painting also appears to play the violin, only he doesn’t have one.”

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