CHLOE PIENE INTERVIEWS HERSELF, AUGUST 10, 2018
Is it true that someone tried to buy your eyes?
I went into a cell phone store because my phone wasn’t working. There was this old guy who pointed to this young guy. He said: “How much for your eyes?” I was like, what? He said: “I want to buy your eyes.”
Was he trying to be funny?
No, the room was quiet. Everyone was waiting for my answer.
I said I couldn’t give him a price because someone had offered to buy my soul. So, I was trying to decide which I valued more: my eyes or my soul.
So what did he say?
He said, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll buy both. You have 36 years to decide.”
That’s straight out of a horror movie.
Yes, it was fucking scary.
It’s as if he knows exactly when you’re going to die.
What you don’t know and what you can’t see has enormous power over you.
But you like the unknown.
I don't scare easy. Somewhere there is always a weakness. Somehow there is always a way in. Steel is flexible. Iron shatters. The toughest men are afraid of something.
So, when people connect to your work -
They connect to reality or to themselves in a way that I cannot explain. They experience truth, validation, recognition. A journalist approached me the other day at my opening at the Leopold in Vienna, in tears. She was so moved.
What about your experience?
I’m not interested in experience that doesn’t challenge me. There is a need. I am compelled. To make things. To climb mountains. Examine tombs. To explore. I like breaking into graveyards at night and walking around naked. I like to walk through forests naked. I need to be near people who see things differently, naturally, innately. People who go forward unthinkingly towards difficult or new goals. That = respect.
What have you dug up?
Hiking with no clear path – no markings, no indicators. I found a lot of Neolithic tombs; undated, unknown. Viking graves, their weapons, their adornment. A certain farmer in Ireland. A certain mother who can tell stories about Fairy times as if it were now. The ocean. Blood moons. Ford or Dodge Pickup trucks, fast cars (V8 or V12 engine), oxen strength, tattoos.
CP: Do you have any tattoos?
CP: A lot of people have gotten my drawings tattooed on them. It's nice when they ask or tell me about it - when they do they usually send an image.
CP: What about your tattoos?
CP: What about them?
CP: What do you have tattooed on you?
CP: You can only see them if you take my clothes off.
CP: So what are they of?
CP: You would have to take my clothes off.
What are some horror movies that you like?
It (old and new), Poltergeist (staircase scene), The Exorcist (“I am no one”), Get Out. Mythical creatures, old fairytales with strange endings. Good witches, bad witches. Sea gods. Mermaids. The Furies, Valhalla Rising by Nicolas Winding Refn. M by Fritz Lang. Nosferatu. The stories your grandma tells you as a kid that seem more true, still, than the bullshit you have to deal with as an adult.
CP: Okay. Go on.
CP: Vampires, the Polish painter Jacek Malczewski, self-portraits by Sofonisba Anguissola, the Kaisergruft in Vienna, carbon content, steel production.
THOUGHTS ON THE ART MARKET (AS ASKED FOR BY KIMBERLY BRADLEY FOR VIENNA CONTEMPORARY, 2018)
If I was a white American or Western European dude, what would my prices be? We are not playing with the same deck but we are all competing for the same money. There was a time when artists (not white US/EU men) had no cards to play with at all. Just because a subset of artists gets paid something, they are still short about 48 cards in a 52 card deck. Your dice is right, their dice is loaded. And I don't consider crumbs a meal. I am expected to play and I am admired for the same level of quality, endurance, excellence, attention and drive as my counterparts. They are making millions when I am banking (I consider myself lucky - should I?) in the hundreds or tens of thousands. I enter the Burgtheater through the same VIP door built only for the King. I am a competitor. I would say I invoke a kind of fear because even though I am as good or better, the ones holding the full deck have the upper hand even when they suck. And they know it. They are allowed to grow old and become mediocre, lazy, delegate ideas, disengage, have crises about their virility, or whatever strikes their fancy as they mature. This is not an option for me. Nor would I want it to be. I always have to fight for visibility and fight to be heard until the day that I die. And when I die, people will tend to like me more, though that’s true of all artists. I’m 9% of the market competing on an equal level with the remaining 91%.
I like boxers a lot. The MMA fighter Conor McGregor and the Irish Demolition Man Kevin McBride. I dated him in school, he ended up beating Tyson. People admire fighters for their strength. So do I.
When anyone asks me to be in an all-woman show, I tell them to go fuck themselves. I was born an artist like any other artist. I fall in love just like anyone else falls in love. What the fuck is the difference.
People should be more honest about how dishonest they are. People are weak. They should spend money on quality, and nothing else. People who don't pay are liars. I have a zero tolerance policy for bullshit. Life is short. A Mustang looks like a sportscar, but it’s not a Ferrari. Buy the Ferrari. Show some balls and buy the Ferrari, not some crappy Mustang just because all your friends bought Mustangs. I mean this only for people who can afford Ferraris. They can buy anything they want and still they buy the wrong things. If you want to be a real collector who puts their money where the courage is and where the tough work is and where history is being made, then act on it. I'm not easily irritated but when it comes to money and honesty I hold to a certain standard. Many people have skills and abilities that they have been conditioned or told not to acknowledge whether by history or parenting or culture or circumstance or violence - I do not accept this. I see value first. Not the conditioning. Not the lack of self worth. If this weren't true I would not have been able to achieve what I have achieved at the level of quality that it is at. My standards are no different than Conor McGregor's. He is my ally.
Art really penetrates and effects people, internally. Activism has nothing to do with it, and I’ll go back to the cars - you can create the biggest ad campaign you want to convince everyone that a Mustang is as good as a Ferrari, but it never will be. It's about the engine inside the car and the design that unfolds around that powerful core. So acknowledge the value of the Ferrari, pay for it, and don’t settle for less. Have you ever heard the sound of a Ferrari engine? It’s deep and low, it purrs. No Mustang sounds like that. No Mustang feels like that. Beacuase it can't.
I refuse to be categorized as anything other than myself, in any terms other than the work I make. My language is my own. This is true for all strong and enduring artists - its also why so many people admire a serious artist. Their shape, their language, their form, how they work, who influences them, cannot be categorized, imitated, or understood in terms other than the work itself. People want to know who I am. People want to know who I date. People want to know about my style, what I wear, where I hang. But my life is my own. I just want to work. I shut my studio door and it's really no one's buisness but my own.
Power imbalances were not invented by Machiavelli or Vladimir Putin. The point is just not to be weak. If you believe in what you’re doing, you stand up for it, because that is how you stand. My work is just me being myself. I don't have a choice. I was born that way. I am lucky I have the courage to go after the things that interest me and I don't question them. The work moves forward in a way that is honest. And maybe a little mysterious. But I don't question what compels me.
The idea of quotas or requirements in terms of purchasing agendas is akin to requiring a certain amount of art that’s exclusively orange. It’s demeaning to the individuality of the artist. For example, some people want to get married to a woman - does this mean they should go out and marry some woman simply because she’s a woman? And, because women are important to them, should they go out and marry 8 women? No. Obviously when it comes to allowing something into your life, it’s about quality. Quality should be reflected not just in how much people love it, write about it, copy it, admire it, talk about it, want to be it, or even worship it, it’s how much they are willing to give for it.
When it comes to jewelry, there’s 14 carat gold and there's 22. I only accept 22. Anything less isn’t gold. The ring on my finger and the rings I've acquired were either traded or given to me by people who understand my work and the quality that is embedded in it. The quality that is embedded in me.
this is the anthem
this is the anthem
this is the anthem
"...through the thorough and unwavering application of proven means."
It is impossible not to be a Prussian Jerk.
The Great And Powerful Prussian Jerk.
I should have pictures of Bismarck all over - as a reminder of the face I am looking into...
Duty, Honor, and Responsibility
I can never step off the path
But the force of magma is unstoppable
What you need. When you find it you recognize it right way. Not with your eyes, you just know. You have always only been looking for a worthy challenger. In work, and in life. Only then, can you move forward. Only then, can you play.
Rich, rich, rich
I'll take you out boy
So stuck up
i don't want no speaking at all
Your hands on my hips pull me right back to you i catch that thrust give it right back to you youre in so deep i'm breathin for you you grab my hair touch my back high for you youre diesel engine im squirtin mad loyal youre down on the floor til my speakers start to boil - i flip shit, and im twisted and you're so thick - and youre so thick - and you're so <->->