When making, there is always a question about when to stop. It’s complicated, to know when to let go.
I have come to wait for this transformation as a signal that the object is ready to go into the world. It’s so intangible to know what makes an object really powerful. How do we figure that out? There may be times that things flow out, or there may be times that things need to be bled out. It can take a long time and a lot of pain. But I think that in general, artists have a rhythm to their creative process, and the unconscious will continue to reveal itself at a certain rate. It is good to let go.
– Janine Antoni, My Body Is Your Vehicle, Sculpture May 2015, interview with Joshua Reiman
I was interested in the bite because it was both intimate and destructive. It summed up my relationship to art history [which] defined me as an artist, and excludes me as a woman, both at the same time.”
-Janine Antoni, interview for MoMA, quoted in The New York Observer, Women’s Work: The Epic Two Decades of Janine Antoni, April 2015
The thing about the classical bust is it’s usually reserved for depicting men, and usually very powerful men. And then, when we see women in classical sculpture, they depict hope and charity and love. I was particularly conscious of that when I made the bust and thinking about this act of erasure of this specific personality. With this particular bust here, I licked the chocolate and I licked right up the front and over the cheek. I also licked the eye and the lips and nose. And then I came around and licked, you know, over the ear and back onto the bun. And then I thought it would be nice to just lick under the nape of the neck, along up under the ear on the other side. It’s modeling, in the sense that when you carve, you start with a block and you remove from it. But what I’m doing is starting from a representation of myself and then removing from it.
Janine Antoni, Art 21 interview for her work Lick and Lather
When I look in the mirror, I don’t really recognize myself. I somehow see myself as I was as a little girl or in other manifestations of myself. So, it’s always this contemplative moment, of trying to come to terms with what I see and how that relates to what I feel inside and trying to bring those two things together.
Antoni’s primary tool for making sculpture has always been her own body.
– About Janine Antoni, Art21
Janine Antoni, featured works Luhring Augustine
Janine Antoni collaboration with Stephen Petrino, Honey Baby