I only met Bob Rauschenberg once at a party in New York in the late 60’s. By that time he was already a big deal, having won the Venice Biennale grand prize in 1964. What strikes me most about his work is that he provided a bridge from Jackson Pollack to Andy Warhol. The world of images “mashed-up” that we take so for granted today, could not have existed in the fine art world without Robert Rauschenberg giving artists “permission” to take stuff from the junkyard and re-see it as as having beauty. Yes, I know Picasso did collages in the 20’s, but Rauschenberg took it to another level.
We have been having a good discussion here on the role of the artist in society. I think this quote from Bob extends the boundaries of our dialogue.
A lot of people try to think up ideas. I’m not one. I’d rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can’t ignore. Anything you do will be an abuse of somebody else’s aesthetics. I think you’re born an artist or not. I couldn’t have learned it. And I hope I never do because knowing more only encourages your limitations.