"When I went to visit Ocean, I had just finished reading The Eclipse of Art, in his conclusion, Spalding promises that when the shadow of conceptualism passes, we will be dazzled by the imaginative light of the artists working in our backyard.
I put this to Ocean, but he is having none of it, of course: he has a nice life, his paintings are sought by collectors, and in any case he finds the current climate much healthier than the Eighties, "when everything was so referential, and everyone was walking around with Gogol sticking out of their pockets. Not that there's anything wrong with Gogol." In any case, Ocean is perfectly content to let history sort it all out. "I mean, people don't look at a Rembrandt and think, 'Well, I don't know what to make of that.' And they're not interested just because he's old, either. You look at a Rembrandt and your knees shake. That's what it's about."