|Chicago Social, August 1997 - A Few Minutes with Ed Paschke
What is the most outrageous thing that has happened to you in the course of your business?
Doing a TV commercial. Because I used to have such a problem with just speaking to another human being --let alone to a group or a class or a camera--the whole idea of my doing TV commercials is kind of outrageous.
What drives you?
My self-criticism and my Toyota.
What is your greatest fear?
Arlington Heights. I went to school out there.
What is the one thing that you have always wanted?
The source of all unhappiness is wanting.
What is at the top of your list of things to buy?
An Italian beef sandwich.
What is your favorite book?
The Yellow Pages. Everything is in there.
What is your favorite film?
What is your favorite Chicago hangout?
The Green Mill.
What is your best childhood memory?
Going to Riverview. It was this amusement park right in Chicago. It was every child's fantasy come true.
What is your proudest moment?
The retrospective of my paintings at the Art Institute in 1990.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
As a kid I was the first person eliminated in the spelling contest. The word was "petal"--I thought they were talking about peddling a bicycle, but they were talking about flowers.
What was your first job?
Inspecting feet at swimming pools. I had to make sure no one had bacteria or athlete's foot.
What is the greatest obstacle that you have overcome?
Fear of interviews.
What was the first love of your life and why?
My dog, a German shepherd named Ginger. It was total uncompromising loyalty.
How would you like to die?
In a farming accident.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a guy who worked hard.
If you were granted one wish, what would it be?
To have the ability to dunk with either hand.
What is your motto?
Here today, gone tomorrow.
What worries you most about the world today?
Stagnation. The only thing that's inherently true, or should be true, is the change going on. If things become stagnant or come to a standstill, that's probably the worst thing that could happen.
What gives you the most hope about the world today?
The Home Shopping Network.
Describe your art in one world.
What quality do you most admire in a man?
What quality do you most admire in a woman?
On what occasions do you lie?
Halloween and percussion recitals.
What is your nickname?
In your opinion, what is the most beautiful thing in the world?
A woman's body.
What talent would you like to possess?
A contortionist's flexibility.
How has your work been influenced by Chicago?
I try to be responsive in my work to the rich ethnic and racial mixture of people. They bring with them such diverse cultural legacies and when they get together, this mixing, this bross fertilization goes on. I just try to be a filtration system.
What is art?
Which artists have influenced you most?
In order: My dad who was an artist and got me started, the animation of Disney, the French Impressionists, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol.