THC: What is the defining moment of your arts career at Harvard?
JNM: One of the best moments of my time here has been very recently, when I came to the realization that it was okay to not have something explicit to say. My thesis involves a lot of mindless, repetitive tasks which evolved out of things I started doing and couldn’t stop: I startled doodling in class one day and after pages of test doodles, it eventually grew into a 5’ x 11’ doodle, which I’ve spent over 200 hours on so far. I started out wanting to create something that anyone could appreciate, that someone would walk in to the exhibit, see, and think, “Wow.”
THC: Who are your greatest influences, at Harvard and in the larger artistic world?
JNM: My mother, Tara Donovan, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, in that order.
THC: In 30 years where do you see your skill with your medium having taken you?
JNM: Ideally I would be an artist who is able to live off the sale of her work. However, that rarely happens. While I have no plans for after graduation other than Burning Man and a cross country bike trip, I can see myself 5 years from now working on a film in either the art or sound department, and spending my free time making my own art. Whatever I do, I am determined not to become an accountant—not that there’s anything wrong with that.