Lisa Yuskavage: Interview

Lisa Yuskavage, Dude of Sorrows, 2015, oil on linen, 48 x 40 inches (courtesy of
Lisa Yuskavage, Dude of Sorrows, 2015, oil on linen, 48 x 40 inches (courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery)

Thomas Gebremedhin interviews painter Lisa Yuskavage whose work is on view at David Zwirner, New York, through June 13, 2015.

Yuskavage comments: "I’ve gotten cease and desist letters. They’ve called me pornographic, like it’s a bad thing. We are living in a world where you have to go to battle to have an open mind. People are a little more used to seeing what I do now, but when I was making my early work they were really not prepared for it. And I loved what I was doing so much, because I knew it was right. If it feels so good, it’s got to be right. I stopped thinking about making art that looked like anything else. I had a direct line to this thing inside of myself. It’s like cooking and saying, I have a hankering for this and a little bit of that. You’re not working from a recipe because the goal is not a known goal. You’re putting something together based on cravings. I wanted to make art that I was hoping to see and hadn’t seen. To be able to get back to painting was a real act of defiance for me, especially against myself. When I got back to it I felt like I was breathing air for the first time."