You just do what you love, and then a style happens later on. People put it together and decide it’s yours. But some days you wake up and you’re happy and some days you wake up and you’re sad, some days you wake up and you’re feeling angry about things… if you can translate that through your work, and express those feelings, that’s okay as an artist. I didn’t see any difference between being a photographer or being an artist. I didn’t make those boundaries. If someone wants to think it’s art, that’s great, but I’ll let history decide.
It’s much harder to work for yourself, by yourself, than to create work for a gallery, because there are no limits and you can do anything you want. It’s always easier when you have a parameter, when you have a limit. You can work within the limit and push it and walk the line, but when you’re given absolutely no limits, it’s harder. You must really think. It’s more challenging.
I was working in this very bombastic style. I didn’t really know about style. I didn’t think about it: I did what I was interested in, what I was attracted to, what I was drawn to. I was drawn to color, and I was drawn to humor, and I was drawn to sexuality and spontaneity. It was all really intuitive. I never really thought, “Well this is the style…
If you really want to shock people in the art world, talk about Jesus or God. You could take a dump on a gallery floor and they won’t care. That’s art … when I wanted to do Jesus Is My Homeboy [where he positioned Jesus with pimps, prostitutes and gangsters], I wanted to ask who Jesus would hang with, if he was back. And it wouldn’t be the aristocrats or the rich people, but the disfranchised. I was making this point to the editor of i-D and I heard the phone go dead. Eastern religions like Buddhism are cool – anything foreign or exotic like that is acceptable, but Christianity has a horrible reputation because of fundamentalists and evangelicals.