When I started out, art was doing down the drain. The people who used to magazine illustrations and the covers were being replaced by photographers. And when they started using photographers, I started to show my work with galleries. Everybody also was doing window decoration. That led into more galleries. I had some paintings in a window, then in a gallery.
I take my camera everywhere. Having a few rolls of film to develop gives me a good reason to get up in the morning.
[My vision of America is] a good vision. Actually the best is on TV. I wanted to shoot all the pictures off the TV. No one would have known the difference.
I can’t bear to let all this beautiful talk go by. Everybody says... fantastic things. People are always putting it down as an invasion of privacy, but I think everyone should be bugged all the time... bugged and photographed.
I get someone who is sort of famous as a photographer to do my printing. Then I don’t know whether it’s his picture or my picture.
A picture just means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures. It’s a visual diary.
I always try to make the person look good. It’s easier if you give somebody something back that looks like them. Otherwise, if I were more imaginative, it wouldn’t look like the person.
As for the paintings, the images I’ve used have all been seen before via the media. I guess they’re media images. Always from reportage photographs or from old books, or from four for a quarter photo machines. No, I don’t change the media, nor do I distinguish between my art and the media. I just repeat the media by utilizing the media for my work. I believe media is art.
All photography is Pop, and all photographers are crazy... they feel guilty since they don’t have to do very much—just push a button.
During this period [1960s] I took thousands of Polaroids of genitals. Whenever somebody came up to the Factory, no matter how straight-looking he was, I’d ask him to take his pants off so I could photograph his cock and balls... Personally, I loved porno and I bought lots of it all the time—the really dirty, exciting stuff. All you had to do was figure out what turned you on, and then just buy the dirty magazines and movie prints that are right for you, the way you’d go for the right pills or right cans of food.
... I started repeating the same image because I liked the way the repetition changed the same image. Also, I felt at the time, as I do now, that people can look at and absorb more than one image at a time.
I’d gotten myself a 35mm camera and for a few weeks there I was taking photographs, but it was too complicated for me. I got impatient with the f-stops, the shutter speeds, the light readings, so I dropped it.