Q: Why make art? What do you find by doing it? What does it get you?
Serra: I always wanted an alternative existence. And by that I mean I wanted to do something where I could study my own sentiments and experiences. And I found that I can do that in relation to making things and making art in particular. And I did that since I was a kid it was a place I always could go to that I could concentrate and deal with the problems that I thought were of interest to me. And if I was clear enough about what it was that I was probing, and stayed with the premise of I was probing, it was possible that it could also be clear to someone else, and it was important that it not be something that somebody else has done.
I think one of the things art does is that it asks you to perceive what it is on its own level […] I think works of art engage, possibly, an ‘internal memory bank’ that isn’t linear and it can make you see the outside reality in that way also.
That’s from a recording at the SF MoMA. I first heard of him after moving to Des Moines and seeing his “Five Plate Pentagon” at our beautiful sculpture park.
Image Source: DSM Public Art Foundation