Questionnaire: William Gibson

Q: What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do? A: Curating a collection of iconic men’s streetwear

What images keep you company in the space where you work?

A 1980s photo of my wife by a family friend, a cartoonish 1960s pencil sketch of her by a boyfriend, and five small, black and white reproductions of copies of the Mona Lisa (1503), by young schoolchildren, framed together.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

Walt Kelly’s drawings in his comic strip Pogo, in the early 1950s.

If you could live with only one piece of art what would it be?

One or another photo of my wife.

What is your favourite title of an artwork?

To Espanola, on a marvellous folk painting, oil on one-inch ply, found some 40 years ago in a thrift shop.

What do you wish you knew?

Who painted To Espanola.

What should change?

The most miserable aspects of human nature, if that were possible.

What should stay the same?

Earth’s climate.

What music are you listening to?

The next Drive-By Truckers album, before it’s out.

What are you reading?

‘Endland’ (1999) by Tim Etchells.

What do you like the look of?

Non-denim trousers by the Japanese firm Iron Heart.

What is art for?

Communication. Or not.

This article first appeared in frieze issue 207 with the headline ‘Questionnaire: William Gibson’

Main image: Walt Kelly, Pogo, 1971. Courtesy: Okefenokee Glee and Perloo, Inc.

William Gibson is the author of numerous books including the forthcoming Agency (Berkley Books, January 2020). He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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