Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Father of the Combine
Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008
This article in the New York Times this morning brought tears to my eyes. Artists like myself owe a huge debt to Rauschenberg. Despite the fact that his Combines, the work he was probably the most famous for came out 50 years ago now, folks still have a difficult time accepting mixed media or found object work as relevant, important, or even art. Granted I should qualify that by saying I live in Sacramento, a town that is still titillated by Ab Ex as though it just sprung fresh from the canvas last year.
Anyhoo, I found this passage particularly inspiring although the whole article is great really:
Cage meant that people had come to see, through Mr. Rauschenberg’s efforts, not just that anything, including junk on the street, could be the stuff of art (this wasn’t itself new), but that it could be the stuff of an art aspiring to be beautiful — that there was a potential poetics even in consumer glut, which Mr. Rauschenberg celebrated. “I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly,” he once said, “because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.”
So now I encourage you in honor of the Father of the Combine... take extra care to appreciate your surroundings today and pay extra close attention to that soap dish. The world around us is more beautiful than one might think.
Posted by Liv Moe at 10:20 AM