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Gus Van Sant, Untitled, Oil on aluminum, Copyright Gus Van Sant, Courtesy of the artist

Gus Van Sant, Untitled, Oil on aluminum, Copyright Gus Van Sant, Courtesy of the artist 

Olivier Zahm: You started out as a painter, right? 

Gus Van Sant: Yeah, when I was 11. I grew up in Darien, Connecticut, which is a very wealthy town. The schools had a preponderance of sports, but this one teacher was gay, and he was out in 1962. And he got everyone interested in art because he was very fashionable. He'd go to Greenwich Village every weekend, for the whole weekend, and then come back and teach in Connecticut. And he was this very stylish sort of mod - skinny tie... He'd do silk screens but would take his tie and put it in his pocket. And nothing would ever get on him. He taught us silk-screening, watercolor, tempera...