"The people I paint don't exist. The only thing that's real is the painting. It's not like a photograph where there's another reality that existed at a certain moment in time in the past. The image is only happening right now and this is the only version of it" (John Currin in conversation with Rochelle Steiner, in: Exh. Cat., Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, John Currin, 2003, p. 77).