I'm glad somebody knows my name. I'm glad somebody knows my work. I never thought that would happen.
You come from an editorial background. What was it like to revisit that type of work with both the Elliot Spitzer cover for New York magazine in 2008 and the Kim Kardashian cover for W magazine in 2010?
Thank you for saying I worked in editorial; a lot of people confuse that with advertising still. I never worked in advertising. I did work in magazines for years, and it's where I learned the fluency that I work in, but not the meaning of what I'm doing. I changed the meaning. The formal fluency — not so much in my video work or in my spatial work, certainly in the use of image and text — came from that job every day.
Going back to Condé Nast with W was funny and ironic, and I was happy to do it. It's so interesting, because I remember when I worked there, they would have these meetings and fret about how television was going to cut into their market. Of course, television did not cut into the magazine market. Now, we're in a whole different crisis of what a brick and mortar newspaper or magazine is, and how online life has challenged and changed it. Of course, it's amplified it, too. You can get your information in different ways. I'll ask you — do you read mostly online or in hard copy?
It's so interesting, because I do both. I do feel that you read differently online. I'm a news junkie. I read The New York Times every day, and I try to read hard copy everyday, because I feel that I read more rigorously that way. But I read online, too. I read The Guardian everyday from London. I read the L.A. Times, a lot of magazines, and whatever else I can. But I do think that when you read hard copy, you just read things that you might not see online. When you're online, you read your bookmarks, what you like, and what you're familiar with — your "go-tos." It doesn't really widen your world that way. This is why I think there's so much extremity in culture today. I go to a lot of right-wing websites, and I watch Fox News, because I like to know how consensus is being built.
That reminds me of a piece Shepard Fairey wrote about you in Juxtapoz magazine, where he said that if he could put anyone's art in the White House with Barack Obama, it would be your We Don't Need Another Hero piece.
Well, yeah, I doubt that's going to happen. I appreciate him saying that.