The Way I See It

Does art make a difference?

As an artist, one would like to think it does. I’ve been astonished over the years by the letters I have received from people who have been affected by my work. I know my critics will howl with derision at the thought it may have made a difference in some way.

Should politics and art mix?

If artists have it in them, I think it is right that they should articulate their views in their work. I’ve been told that my work inspires people to debate sexual politics. I don’t try to make statements – I’m just interested in the shifting balance of power in relationships.

Is your work for the many or for the few?

I’m pleased to say that my work is accessible to the many. It is tiresome that being popular is equated with having little artistic merit. My work is not widely known because it appeals to some low common denominator. Reproduction has introduced it to a vast audience.

If you were world leader, what would be your first law?

Great tax breaks for artists.

Who would be your top advisers?

Leonard Cohen, because he is the most honest man I can think of. Billy Connolly, because he makes me laugh more than anyone. His observations are so sharp, you’d know you were getting sound advice.

What, if anything, would you censor?

Trainers, except for athletes. There is much about modern-day dress that I can’t abide – the androgyny particularly. But trainers would be the first to go.

If you had to banish one public figure, who would it be?

Simon Cowell.

What are the rules that you live by?

I have no rule book. I’m trying to get by without causing any problems to those I care for. I forget who it was that once said, “Good men must not obey the laws too well,” but the words have stayed with me.

Do you love your country?

I love Scotland’s landscape, but some of the people in that landscape have made it intolerable to me.

Are we all doomed?

We will become extinct eventually, but hopefully not in my lifetime.