Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mr. Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg passed away in 2008, but his work and spirit and philosophy continue to enlighten what we're trying to do with Thunder-Sky, Inc. and this 2 + 2 = 5 thing...

"Ideas aren't real estate, they grow collectively and that knocks out the egotistical loneliness that generally infects art." (Robert Rauschenberg)

Rauschenberg was a born collaborator: his work with John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Alain Robbe-Gillet, and William Burroughs pushed the boundaries of what art can be and do, as he did in the eighties with the Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Initiative, making art with people all over the world, culminating in an exhibit in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC in 1991.

But truly one of my favorite Rauschenberg collaborations is the erased drawing he did back in the fifties (see photo above). Rauschenberg took a drawing by DeKooning and with his permission erased it. In one gesture he redefined what art means and what art does and does not do. He eliminated preciousness, made a joke, and yet also created new meaning from stock footage.

Sometimes, that simple little gesture seems to say, erasing things becomes the only way to create something new.