What piece of art changed your life? And how did it affect you?
Barnett Newman’s Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950-1951) changed how I think about novels, which is my life.
It is a huge canvas, 8’x18’, and striking as soon as you walk into its room at MOMA. But the way this painting is experienced changes as you get closer to it. The canvas is large enough, so that you can begin to feel absorbed by its color fields, maybe even becoming one of its zips. It’s unsettling and beautiful and transcendent. It’s a feeling that changed how I think about writing novels, about how I try to involve the reader in the novel, about how I try to get the reader to feel certain things through writing in certain ways (and by leaving certain gaps). The reader becomes a part of the novel if you can get them to look close enough.