Robert Irwin

Artist
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One thing that pisses off the New York art world is when you tell them you had a happy childhood—like I did. ’Cause the idea is art comes from suffering. In 1946, I went to Paris. It was stunning. But being an artist is about change, and I realized that in Paris, I would never want to change anything. I came home, got in my car, put the top down, had my big-band music playing. I was sailing along the freeways and, man, I knew who I was. I was as L.A. as you could get. » Irwin, 82, designed the Central Garden at the Getty Center.