Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's a "Rauschenberg"

My friend Robert Singleton had the most amazing back porch I have ever seen, at his house atop Screamer Mountain near Clayton, Ga. The back door is how anybody, who had been there before and had been invited back, entered his house. You had to walk by this huge collage/painting/whatever on the wall and the first time you saw it there would be questions in your mind as to what it was.

There were mundane things, not just depicted but stuck on it. And there were photos, scribblings, and paint and I can't remember what else. The more you walked by it, the more new things you saw.
I ask him what the significance of the collage was and he said, "That's a Rauschenberg."

"...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.”

The remark reflected the optimism and generosity of spirit that Mr. Rauschenberg became known for. "

1 comment:

  1. This note from Robert Singleton:

    Steve . . . thank you for your kind words, even if they were attached to the sad news that Robert Rauschenberg has passed . . . the Rauschenberg you spoke of was sold years ago in order to raise funds to help pay for my Steven's Aids related bills . . . I thank Mr. Rauschenberg for the many years of enjoyment his art work gave many of my friends and . . . Through his applaudable career his work fetched a sizable sum which was used for Steven’s medical needs . . . I did not know that he had passed . . . If anyone was to give me the news . . . I’m grateful it was you.