Pop Culture
Dec 08, 2023, 06:29AM

That’s a Hard Thing to Do

A 2023 BOMB Magazine interview with multidisciplinary artist maassai vs. a 2002 INDEX Magazine interview with famed graphic designer Ruth Ansel.

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maassai: You have to make something out of nothing.

Ruth Ansel: And it all happened over the weekend.

maassai: There were no theatrics.

Ansel: Two months later I got a call.

maassai: Yeah, exactly. I’ve done an experimental game night, which was about introspection.


Ansel: We had the kind of friendship where you could call up and say, “Do you have anything, do you have a cover? Can I use it?”

maassai: They didn’t even bother taking it out; they just flooded it, so it causes boats to bump into things.

Ansel: It was 1961. It was a horrifying time—the punctuation of that never left me. In that sense, a good art director is almost silent.

maassai: I think I said she has hipster vibes or something like that, and, “She looked at me and made a smile that could light up this whole town, just like the buildings they are building all around.”

Ansel: That’s a hard thing to do, particularly with celebrities who have a certain image to maintain.


maassai: It’s about this idea of expanding into everything we are in that multidimensional nature of being, expanding into all of our potential.

Ansel: I can’t visualize something when it’s even a half-inch smaller than it should be. It’s all a fiction in one form or another.

maassai: It’s not a safe environment.

Ansel: It was high-gloss glitz. It was just the three of us.

maassai: That’s probably what you’ve noticed.


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