Detail from Gustave Courbet, Apples, Pears, and Primroses on a Table, 1871-1872.
“I’ve always had this thing about yellow—I don’t like cadmium yellow. I always liked chrome yellow instead of cadmium, which are real bright, chemical-looking yellows, and they weren’t really available to painters before 1870, 1850. So I thought, it’s tacky. It’s like a polyester shirt to use those yellows. And then I was just looking at this Courbet still life and it’s filled with chrome yellow and chemical yellows. So I’m starting to realize that this whole thing about being genuine and authentic is ridiculous. And I’m not conscientious or methodical enough to work that way.”
-Artist John Currin in his recent conversation with James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, at the Getty Center. Watch a video of their entire talk below.