Sunday, January 31, 2010

ART:21: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
TUTTLE: Before I went to kindergarten I really wanted to be an artist. Not that I knew what being an artist was, but on the first day of kindergarten the teacher handed out the paper and the colored crayons. And I just connected in my brain that this was the first day of my life, and that going to school was the start of everything that was important to me. I remember the drawing to this moment. I took a pencil and I just made this horizon line, and then I took the colored pencils and I made a rainbow there. And that was my drawing. I looked over and I saw that the other kindergarteners were doing their sun with the rays of the sun and drawing their flowers from the bottom of the page and all of that. And I knew that my drawing was more, say, advanced or sophisticated, but I also knew that I had lost a kind of innocence—irretrievably—that they still retained. And so I was a little bit pushed back in a state of confusion. Then, when the teacher collected the drawings, mine was not put up as one that was highly valued. I had to adjust to that, and of course I did, but my respect for the teacher was forever erased.

But the story goes on...when I had my first show at the Betty Parsons Gallery when I was 23 or so, I looked over on the wall and saw a piece called "Hill." And it was kind of the same rainbow which the graphite line had changed into. It was a big, startling moment to me because that really was the first day of my life in a way and quite a way from kindergarten, which I had mistakenly thought was the first day, to my show in a New York gallery.

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