Tony Oursler Interviews: Gary Simmons

By Tony Oursler and Gary Simmons
Published in
Oct. 1, 1998

TO: those stars you use in them quite a bit in your other drawings.

GS: I do, theres that wishing on a star thing that I am completely attracted to, that desire for something other, something that you dont have or want, I am consumed with what would make someone want something they dont have.

TO: is that some kind of metaphor for the position of the viewer in relation to the work GS: I think it is a little bit, people have very different relationship s to viewing or looking at art, they have assumptions about it, that dream state or fantasy state plays into it, the whole sitting out at night waiting for that shooting star thing, is something that I have always been attracted to, its mythical at the same time, that whole, did you see one, have you ever seen a shooting star.

TO: Someone told me theyve never seen one, and people who have bad eyesight cant see it, I thought my god what a sad thing.

GS: it is a sad thing, in the desert you see them all the time, which is really weird because the sky almost comes down to the horizon line, so its like complete sky, I think if you lived in new york all the time youd never see one

TO: yeah the city destroyed all that ambient light, light pollution.

GS: I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, like Big Sky Country, you cant see your handing standing in front of you but you can see this pitch black planetarium above your head, the stars are like right on top of you, its one of the things Im attracted to, the star field and all that.

TO: the way people reconfigure them into constellations or is it more wishing like you were saying.

GS: I think its kinda both, theres always reason and curiosity of that world, like with the constellations and all that, people are always searching for some kind of meaning, definition in something, in a field of whatever, and then theres that whole wishing thing, they are kinda cliches for romanticism.