Under quarantine in Paris, Jim Dine speaks about spending time in his garden, working from nature, and the inspiration behind his longtime series, The Botanical Drawings. In the 1970s, Jim Dine began to draw from life, working repeatedly from the same models and from his own image as a way to translate the visual subtleties that emerge from deep observation. Around this same time, Dine began a study of plants through drawing, a practice that has remained central to his work to this day. Extending from a tradition of illustration that dates back to the Renaissance, Dine's botanical drawings are spurred by an insatiable curiosity around the intricacies of nature. “What excites him is the prospect of capturing not just the look of that stem, leaf or flower in all its particularity, at a defined moment or over a period of time, but of conveying a sense of its growth or decay as an organic substance…”[i] This recognition of time and its effects informs Dines unblinking engagement with his own image. As with the plant, the self-portrait provides the artist with ever-changing source material in which to express markers of time and mortality.
This video was recorded April 23, 2020. Video copyright Gray, Chicago/New York, 2020. All images copyright Jim Dine Studio.