Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right David Lynch interview: 'There is something so incredibly cosmically magical about curtains'
David Lynch ('Untitled (Łódź)', 2000)1/6
'Untitled (Łódź)', 2000© Collection of the artist
David Lynch ('Untitled (England)', late 1980’s/early 1990s)2/6
'Untitled (England)', late 1980’s/early 1990s© Collection of the artist
David Lynch ('Untitled (Łódź)', 2000)3/6
'Untitled (Łódź)', 2000© Collection of the artist
David Lynch ('Untitled (England)', late 1980’s/early 1990s)4/6
'Untitled (England)', late 1980’s/early 1990s© Collection of the artist
David Lynch ('Untitled (Łódź)', 2000)5/6
'Untitled (Łódź)', 2000© Collection of the artist
David Lynch ('Untitled (Los Angeles)', 1980)6/6
'Untitled (Los Angeles)', 1980© Collection of the artist

David Lynch interview: 'There is something so incredibly cosmically magical about curtains'

Celebrated film director David Lynch talks about his love of curtains, coffee and photographing derelict factories

By Freire Barnes

Cinematic surrealist David Lynch is more than a director, musician and coffee connoisseur: his debut photography exhibition opens in London this week at the Photographers Gallery. The rarely interviewed renaissance man tells us ten things you didn't know about his life and career.

He was a Londoner... but only for a year.
'I was working in London on "The Elephant Man" for a year almost to the day. My lasting memory is of Gun Wharf and the London docks. But within a year of finishing, they started tearing down so many places we had shot in. Urban renewal meant that all the old places - which had this tremendous mood - were just disappearing. It was a big, big sadness for me, but that's the way it goes.'

Crispy-fried seaweed floats his boat.
'During post-production of "The Elephant Man" I moved to Twickenham and I would go to the local Peking Chinese restaurants. I was in seventh heaven every time I had the crispy-fried seaweed: one bite of that and you leave your body.'

Everyone could wake up to a David Lynch coffee.
'The "David Lynch Signature Cup" blend of coffee is really good: that's what I drink all day. Whole Foods Market in the US has started stocking it, but only in 20 stores on a trial basis. So go to your Whole Foods store and say: "Listen, Jack, I want you to sell the David Lynch Signature Cup." That would be a real help.'

Curtains are a big draw for him.
'I don't know where it came from, but I love curtains. There is something so incredibly cosmically magical about curtains opening and revealing a new world. It resonates on a deep level with people.'

'Nightclub designer' is on his CV.
'I had a part in the interior design of the Silencio club in Paris. Its name was inspired by "Mullholland Drive". But truthfully, I'm not a club person at all - I don't like to go out at night. I like to stay home.'

Despite releasing two albums, he's no musician.
'I'm not really a musician even though I play. I would be petrified to perform in front of people. I have so much admiration for great musicians who can play the same thing over and over and it's still beautiful - they're born for that. I'm in more of a studio band: we build music. It's a different thing.'

Taking pictures gets him high.
'Still photography for me grew out of filmmaking: you see this thing through the lens and you just get filled with euphoria. It's an amazing art form: I especially love William Eggleston, Joel-Peter Witkin and Diane Arbus.'

He sees beauty in derelict factories.
'I grew up in the north-west of America where there are no factories at all - just woods and farms. But my mother was from Brooklyn, so when I was little we used to go there and I got a taste for a certain kind of architecture and a feeling for machines and smoke and fear. To me, the ideal factory location has no real nature, except winter-dead black trees and oil-soaked earth. Time disappears when I'm shooting in a factory, it's really beautiful.'

Lucky Londoners will be the first people to clap eyes on his images.
'It's the first time these photos have been shown publicly. This Photographers' Gallery show grew out of "The Factory Photographs" book.'

He's a regular box-set fan just like the rest of us (rumours suggest his seminal 'Twin Peaks' will be released on Blu-ray this year).
'It's true. I love "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men".'

Read more art interviews


Anj Smith


The British artist tells us about her intricately detailed paintings, which consider the shifting boundaries of desire, sexuality and identity

Abraham Cruzvillegas
Abraham Cruzvillegas with his installation in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall. Photo: Rob Greig

Abraham Cruzvillegas


The Mexican artist tells us about his Tate Modern Hyundai Commission in the Turbine Hall

Judy Chicago


One of America’s most important artists, tells us about her show at Riflemaker and what it means to be a woman artist

© Dagon James

Billy Name


The legendary photographer discusses his best shots as resident photographer at Andy Warhol’s Factory

© Marc Quinn Studio

Marc Quinn


Breathing apparatus, steel toe-capped boots, a grinder… Quinn tells about blurring the line between painting and sculpture


    You may also like

      Support Time Out

      We see you’re using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue is Time Out’s main source of income. The content you’re reading is made by independent, expert local journalists.

      Support Time Out directly today and help us champion the people and places which make the city tick. Cheers!

      Donate now