Well, the pencils, they really are just something to do with my fingers. I have very busy, busy fingers.
As a painter, at least once a year I thought to get absolutely as far away from painting as I possibly could. On one of those occasions I ended up in the highlands of New Guinea, really weeks’ walk from civilization. And at night I really didn’t have much to do, and there wasn’t a lot of light, so I carved these pencils. Every night I would make a stick and then in the morning I would climb a tree, bore a hole, and stick the corkscrew shaped sticks in these holes.
When I got back to New York, I had really nothing else to do. I was still basically as far from painting as I could possibly get. That kind of came hand in hand with a moment of great insecurity. And one of the things that I thought about with these pencils was, it could almost be a form of busking. I could almost imagine myself in some post-apocalyptic landscape. You know sitting on a street corner and making those for a couple of bucks a piece.