I currently cannot beat Jason Yates arm wrestling. There’s no good reason — I have a minimum of 100 pounds on him. We’re both the sons of carpenters, used to long summers of long days swinging hammers and lifting headers. Considering he’s from Detroit proper and I’m from a farm in Texas, we should be evenly matched rough handed meat-heads. It’s not even close though, and he says it’s all mental. “You can beat me,” he says, “You just don’t believe you can.”
Yates and I saw the wolf. Taking a mental health day, I journeyed to the beach community of Encinitas where he lives and works. I wanted to ask him about his current work at the new MJ Briggs / Anna Melikesetian Gallery. The conversation started instantly and went on for ten hours. Yates is not remotely shy and has no trouble airing it out to whoever wants to listen.