and that's very troubling actually..
Interview with Ross Bleckner and Mary Heilmann, taken from here.
Ross:Does it strike you as peculiar that you get up for 35 years, and all you think about is you, your work, the perpetuation of your work, its safe keeping, its dissemination into the world, its reception…
Mary:And who doesn’t like it. (laughter)
Ross: And who likes it. Does the self-centeredness of that sometimes bother you?
Mary: It never bothered me, that’s why I’ve been so happy to be on my own all this time; I didn’t want to move to the suburbs and have a family and take care of the children, the husband, and all that. I know that it was an extreme case of selfishness, and I don’t know where I ever got the idea that it was okay, but I never had any question about that. It probably comes from my Catholic upbringing. As a little kid I was extremely interested in the spiritual life and in the lives of the saints. I wanted to be a saint. There was nobody in their story except them and God and that was a model for me.
Ross: That’s a very good answer.
Mary: And it hasn’t changed much, you know.
Ross: Some things don’t, especially those early models. You were saying when the tape was off that you wished there was another way of describing that work process for artists, because although it is a self-absorption, it’s not for selfish reasons. In fact, you see it as essentially bringing joy to other people.
Mary: Right—Like the Bruce Nauman piece The Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths. Oh, and the other very big part of my work life is teaching at SVA. I see that as helping young people.