I take it red is your favorite color?
As a kid, I wanted to wear red because it’s what superheroes wore, but in Japan it’s considered a feminine color, so my parents dressed me in blue. When I got older and could wear whatever I wanted, I started dressing in all red. I also opened an art gallery in Osaka that I painted all red called the Red Museum. When I wear red, I don’t feel like I’m getting older.
Do you ever not wear red?
Only if I’m going to a funeral.
Why are you in New York?
I’m doing an art project where I paint on airplanes. I took 40 flights last year and want to take 100 this year.
Do you get tired of flying?
No, it’s the best place to paint. You get served food. It’s like having a housekeeper in my studio.
Interview by Alexis Swerdloff