Born in Augusta, Georgia
, Jasper Johns spent his early life in Allendale, South Carolina
with his paternal grandparents after his parents' marriage failed. He then spent a year living with his mother in Columbia, South Carolina
and thereafter he spent several years living with his aunt Gladys in Lake Murray, South Carolina, twenty-two miles from Columbia.
I make what it pleases me to make.. ..I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don’t think that’s a painter’s business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason. I intuitively paint flags.
(to see the painting)..as an object, as a real thing in itself. (on his Flag-paintings)
I made the flags and targets to open men’s eyes.. ..(they) were both things - which are seen and not looked at - examined. (on his flag-paintings, 1958)
The relationship between the object & the event. Can they 2 be separated? Is one a detail of the other? What is the meeting? Air?
Make something, a kind of object, which as it changes or falls apart (dies as it were) or increases in its parts (grows as it were) offers no clue as to what its state or form or nature was at any previous time. Physical and Metaphysical. Obstinacy. Could this be a useful object?
I’m especially interested in the music of John Cage.. ..I would like to do some experimenting with the relationship between his freeform sound and free-form art.
Sometimes I see it and then paint it. Other times I paint it and then see it. Both are impure situations, and I prefer neither. At every point in nature there is something to see. My work contains similar possibilities for the changing focus of the eye.