Jasper Johns Quote

The Watchman falls "into" the trap of looking. The "spy" is a different person.... The spy must be ready to "move", must be aware of his entrances and exits. The watchman leaves his job & takes away no information. The spy must remember & must remember himself & his remembering. The spy designs himself to be overlooked. The watchman "serves" as a warning. Will the spy & the watchman ever meet? In a painting named SPY, will he be present? The spy stations himself to observe the watchman. If the spy is a foreign object, why is the eye not irritated? Is he invisible? When the spy irritates, we try to remove him. "Not spying, just looking" – Watchman. Somewhere here, there is the question of "seeing clearly". Seeing what? According to what?


Book A (sketchbook), c 1965: as quoted in Jasper Johns, Writings, sketchbook Notes, Interviews, ed. Kirk Varnedoe, Moma New York, 1996, p. 60

Picture Quote 1

The Watchman falls into the trap of looking. The spy is a different person.... The spy must be ready to move, must be aware of his entrances and...

Picture Quote 2

The Watchman falls into the trap of looking. The spy is a different person.... The spy must be ready to move, must be aware of his entrances and...

Picture Quote 3

The Watchman falls into the trap of looking. The spy is a different person.... The spy must be ready to move, must be aware of his entrances and...

Picture Quote 4

The Watchman falls into the trap of looking. The spy is a different person.... The spy must be ready to move, must be aware of his entrances and...