GZS: Let’s get the standard info out of the way first. Tell us a bit about Jamie Curcio’s upbringing and childhood and how that eventually led you down the artistic path you’ve taken. Give us your secret origin, if you will.

JC: That’s a difficult one. Let me say this: given time, I could come up with ten different “origin stories” which are all based on historical fact, but they’re all still a narrative I’m constructing out of insufficient evidence. And playing with just that is one of my central preoccupations as an artist.

My upbringing was what it was. I was raised by my mother, who was an artist, and later, art therapist, and several of her girlfriends, over the years. I tell the story of my relationship with my grandfather, who eventually disowned me for being an artist myself, in the Epilogue for Masks: Bowie and Artists of Artifice. But what I just said about origin stories is true. Their power as an explanatory device is highly overrated by comic book and movie writers everywhere, because they work in fiction, and let the writer get on to the story. Life is much larger than us, and our explanations.

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