“I blame what’s happened in art on how expensive it became to be an artist,” he said. “When I came to New York in ’67, a 2,500-square-foot studio was $85.” Without access to such large private studios, he said, many young artists have developed alternate ways of working, like drawing plans for an installation or a sculpture they hope to make but not actually producing the work until it has been selected for a show.
“It’s post-studio art!” he said. “Sculptors who never see the work before the exhibition. It’s designed on the back of a cocktail napkin at 35,000 feet, and then they build it for the first time in Germany.” For an artist who learns to work this way, he added, a studio can become unnecessary, even when one is available. “I’ve been involved for many years with the American Academy in Rome, the most beautiful studios that anybody will ever be offered, and depending who’s on the jury, some years there won’t be a single person who makes anything,” he said. “They sit in these beautiful studios, they put the work on the wall that they used to get the grant and then they just talk. For a year. It’s criminal. You can talk in any room!
– Chuck Close interviewed in The New York Times. July 2016