What other artists have inspired you?
The guy who had an impact on me years ago – and I used to be embarrassed to talk about – is Pierre Bonnard. He’s so not cool, but he had an impact on my drawing style and his use of colour had an impact on me.
To be honest, I struggle with the whole canon of Western art – I find it a bit of a strain. But I like it when I discover something for myself, for example The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence by Titian. This guy is being roasted on a barbecue at night and you can almost hear the wind blowing the brazier.
In 1993 I went to the Venice Biennale for the first time. Outside the German pavilion was a massive plastic Deutsche Mark and inside I could see a photograph on a red wall of Hitler and Mussolini at the 1934 Biennale. I thought, OK, I know what this show is going to be – it will be archival. Then I walked inside and the red wall was propped up by pieces of wood, and behind it the marble floor of this 19th-century building had been smashed to pieces by the conceptual artist Hans Haacke. On the back wall in bronze letters, it just said ‘Germania’. I thought, wow. It’s the kind of piece you needed to see without anybody telling you about it.
In an ideal world, you want to make art that works whether people know what they’re going to see or not. That’s what I’m trying to do.
The Procession is on display at London's Tate Britain until 22 January 2023