MC: Going back to Secrets and Cymbals, what is it like revisiting a work from 2004? Looking back at that work, did anything feel clearer about the journey?
DC: I worked on that piece on and off for many years. I think I last saw it in 2007. So this was the first time seeing it since Dash died. You get to thinking about how all art objects relate to time and space. That piece will always be tied closely to one time and one place—even just the newspaper headlines about Saddam Hussein take you through this portal into a different New York and a different mindset. Now, standing in front of it, it’s more like a memorial, not only to Dash, but to a whole way of thinking and being. You don’t get any of that from looking at a picture of the sculpture—you have to stand in the room with it. Once you see the brushstrokes on it, all the little handmade sculptural elements, you feel the real weight of all those ideas.
MC: You've said that you began the Confetti paintings shortly after Dash Snow passed away as well. Do those paintings relate to the sculpture at all?
DC: Yeah, the first confetti paintings in the series were called “Moments Like This Never Last,” which is from Dash. And the confetti series relates to the frenzy of the hamster nests and to that wildness and spirit of youth, chasing that brief moment of ecstasy. Everything I do, whether it's an oil painting, a painting made with a less traditional material, a sculpture, a film or performance—whatever it is comes back to my exploration of the artist's mark, that moment when the art locks into place, when you pin the tail on the donkey, even if it’s just for a second. The potential power in a single brush stroke, maybe the potential impotence of it as well. You see this exploration pretty explicitly throughout the show, obviously in the confetti paintings, which are literally just a series of colored marks on a white-ish canvas. But also in the first room you have all the layered marks of bubblegum and bird shit, then you walk through the crack pipe curtain. Each crack pipe comes with a silk flower inside, so the curtain turns into these dots of floating colors. Then there are the different colored canaries floating around the large room. It always comes back to these little marks, small moments.