From Jasper Johns:
One can argue that Johns can best be understood as an artist who is blessed and burdened with profound self-awareness. Most people who have met him come away with the impression of a priestly or Zen aspect to his personality. His actions, speech, and dress have a striking simplicity.
One consequence of this awareness is that Johns is uneasy making the kinds of ordinary choices that lead to artistic invention. One often feels he would prefer not to invent at all. ("Whatever I do seems artificial and false, to me.") Acutely aware of his choices at every step, he finds no reason to prefer one over another; all choices seem equally good. He has said this explicitly many times. Because any choice is ultimately arbitrary, his solution is to declare that arbitrariness explicitly, by assembling elements which appear to him to be given, to exist independently at the start, before he begins work. Such concerns appear literally and figuratively reflected in a recent work, MIRROR'S EDGE (1992). Through increasingly ambiguous layers of imagery, the painting can be taken as addressing questions of subjective response, of how reality is constructed by both artist and viewer. The painting employs images and treatments that are familiar from previous work, here freshly revised, and presented anew.