The image of the man holding the fish was taken in Cuba in 1999. We were staying in a beach complex. The canteen that feed us all ran out of food. A handful of us hired a boat to try and catch some fish. The red snapper in the photograph was caught by me and was quickly converted into a meal. Ironically I am highly allergic to fish and could therefore not eat it.
Inspired by a cliff walk with one of Robert Rauschenberg’s assistants in 1979. During 1979 I was in a band called ‘The Urge’, who were discovered by an A&R man from Beggars Banquet Records, who saw us play at my degree show at Exeter College of Art. We ended up supporting ‘Bauhaus’, ‘Adam and the Ants’, ‘The Pack’ and many other Post Punk heroes. We were offered a record contract and the A&R man became our manager and Rauschenberg’s former assistant also became an important member of our team.
I lived near Exmouth and often walked across the beach and along the cliffs – this time I was accompanied by Rauschenberg’s assistant who had been staying with me. At the highest point he confessed his love for me, which was a bit of a shock and I replied ‘I’m sorry but I prefer women”. The implications of this encounter still roll around in my brain. ‘Walk Away or Jump’. This was possibly one of the major turning points in my life – what did I turn down? Fame, fortune?