GH: The only art that I experienced as a kid were the paintings of tortured saints in the cold churches were I spent most of my early years. I saw people nailed on crosses or pierced by arrows, Jesus ripping his shirt open and revealing his sacred heart surrounded by a crown of thorns, bleeding and burning. These were the images that haunted my dreams.
Some years later, I opened a gum wrapper that contained a tiny, badly printed picture of Elvis. I was in a state of shock, because I didn’t know that a human being could be so beautiful. I didn’t know who he was, and I didn’t know his name, but he was an epiphany for me. Later it was the Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Captain Beefheart, Muddy Waters, and others who kept me alive. When I was sixteen or seventeen, I was convinced that the ultimate state of existence was to be a member of the Rolling Stones. Everything else that the world had to offer disgusted me.
The last thing I wanted to be was some weird painter with a beard, a smock, and beret standing in front of an easel, painting squares and triangles or shit like that.