I Believe: Anish Kapoor, Artist, 53

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The Independent Online

* Art is not about making beautiful things, but about reaching something truer, deeper and more troubling.

* We are religious beings, but I don't mean doctrinal. It is to do with the mysteries of why we are here, what happens when you die and what exists before you are born. These are all grand questions that art can answer in a way religion cannot.

* What I know is much less interesting than what I don't. The psychoanalytical process is very close to the artistic process and I trust the workings of the unconscious.

* The adventure in modernist space has been onward, upward and phallic. New space is inside-out, upside-down, dark, troubling, and much of that is what we have culturally termed feminine. I feel this is one of the open frontiers.

* The communal ideal didn't work for me; I lived on a kibbutz when I was 19. However, I do believe in left-wing politics. It is much to my sadness that we seem to live in a monoculture where the capitalist path is the only way. I long for the day when some other ideal will arise.

* Money is mythological in the art world. The skull [Damien Hirst's For the Love of God] ought to have been made out of non-valuable materials to properly convey its value as art [rather than diamonds].

* The Turner Prize has done a great deal to give contemporary art a bigger audience.

* An hour's meditation every day is essential to collect the self. We spend too much time giving the self away.

* I hate aeroplanes. And they should stop flying them over London because they are the biggest diminisher of our quality of life.

* Architecture is an image of our collective self. I'm worried it has come to be more and more about style and less and less about the architectonics.

* Death is inevitable and we do everything not to face it. If one can have dignity in death, all else will have its true perspective.

Anish Kapoor will be in conversation with art critic Richard Cork at Institute Francais, 17 Queensbury Place, London SW7, on 12 December. For details, tel: 0870 050 3688