What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
When I was growing up, my parents had a copy of Diane Arbus's Aperture Monograph, published in 1972. I discovered it on their bookshelf when I was 6 or 7, drawn by the strange girls on the cover, identical twins about my age at the time. But they weren't identical at all. On closer inspection, they reveal themselves to be worlds apart: the girl on the right appears confident and serene with a gentle, knowing smile; the girl on the left is tense, slight, colder and harder than her sister -- she knows something, too, and it has her in its grip. I returned to this book and all its pictures almost daily as a child. Now, I open it to visit old friends: the widow with her monkey, the giant, the couple in Washington Square Park, the housewife, the sword swallower, the patriot. More than any other piece of art, this monograph changed the way I see the world and, subsequently, my work. Diane Arbus's ability to capture a story (rather than "tell" it)—through an objective attention to the details of the image—allows the viewer of the photograph to build the narrative themselves. But beyond technique, her compassion and love, her readiness to get lost in the world of her subjects, her capacity to enter darkness and risk it all, and, ultimately, her lack of judgment provide me with unending inspiration.