A few years ago, Tamara Shopsin, illustrator and author of the splendid Arbitrary Stupid Goal, recalled seeing a Claes Oldenburg exhibit:
The same thing happened to me just from looking at the them on the internet — I was watching John Waters preview his new show, Indecent Exposure, on PBS Newshour, and…
…those sevens looked like ray guns to me!
And later Waters showed off his piece “308 Days,” which is a 3.5 x 9 feet long piece showing about 10 months worth of his crossed-out to-do lists on index cards:
Looking at the scribbles I thought, “Hey, wait a minute that reminds me of…”
Twombly! Waters is a collector, and says he owns over 80 of his books. He keeps the catalog for Letters of Resignation beside his bed. (His housekeeper once told him, “They have the nerve to put this in a book!”) Waters says he loves Twombly because he makes people mad. “This kind of contemporary art hates you too, and you deserve it.”
He explained on Newshour:
I even have a piece that says, “Contemporary Art Hates You.” Because it does, if you hate it first. It’s a thin line. You can’t have contempt about it and go in, but you have to learn, you have to study a little. You have to figure it out. Why these things happen and then suddenly this whole world up– opens up to you. You can see it in a completely different way. It’s like, you were blind before.
The minute you start looking, the world will keep showing you pictures.
PS. Here’s Waters showing off the joke with the sevens: