January 11, 2015

Rauschenberg Reaction

I enjoy going to museums.  I enjoy looking at paintings, sculpture, etc. and reading the little plaques mounted nearby with information about the artist and the piece.  Depending on the museum and the exhibit I may be drawn in by the age of the piece, be it King Tut's sarcophagus or a Rembrandt, thinking historically about the materials and circumstances under which the art was able to come into being.

Often I am drawn to the texture of the mediums, a sense of and appreciation of which you just cannot get from seeing two-dimensional pictures of art in books or online.

Alfred Jensen "Reciprocal Relation, Per I, II and Per III, IV", 1969
Oil on canvas

I thought these were painted concrete.
I was so surprised that the texture was, in fact, paint!!

Ok, so--Museums.  Enjoy them, appreciate them, great way to spend an afternoon, right?  Well, NEVER IN MY LIFE have I been so emotionally struck by a piece of art than I was when I came upon this one by Robert Rauschenberg at the Los Angeles MOCA recently.

Robert Rauschenberg, "Interview", 1955

OMG!  How to describe it?? I entered the room.  The piece was on the wall straight ahead.  I can't say what it was in particular that spoke to me, but all of a sudden my hand moved from over my heart to over my mouth.  I flushed, took in a shaky breath, and pinched my nose to hold back a sob!  I slowly took in every inch of it from every angle.  I honestly do not know what my connection was to this piece, but it was so deep, and so strong.  My family, somewhat embarrassed, I think, speed-walked into the next gallery.  But I didn't want to leave.

I wanted to crawl inside.  I wanted to just sit in there and think about every element and detail.   Now I want to study him, get to know him better.  And maybe discover where this deep feeling of connectedness stems from.

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