I needed new some new photos, so I asked one of my favorite artists, Clayton Cubitt, if he’d take them. We spent a couple of really pleasant hours last month in his studio in Williamsburg, just chatting about art and life and taking pictures.
Clayton likes to take a polaroid of studio visitors wearing a prop crown — he says he thinks everybody deserves to be royalty for at least a few minutes. (Iggy Pop: “Every stinking bum should wear a crown.”)
Here’s a photo I took of him in action — the tattoo on his right arm, “this too shall pass,” was explained by Abraham Lincoln (a quote I used in the last chapter of Keep Going):
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, “And this too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
“Sometimes I worry it’s weird for my subjects to see a giant ‘this too shall pass’ tattoo on my trigger arm,” he says, “But it’s true and it’s why I photograph.”
He gets a new hatchmark on his left arm for each year he makes it around the sun.
You can read more about his life and work in this interview.
Here’s my favorite photo that he took of me: