Australian Fine Artist

Robert Rauschenberg

Video of an American based Artist

Robert started his life in a totally different direction, but around the year 1948 made a life change and began his serious study of art.

Growing up in a small industrial town was not condusive to the career of a fine artist but it was to have an influence on his art in later years. During the 1940s there was explosion of galleries and support for the arts in Europe and the USA as well as the growth of abstract expressionism. With all this going on around him, Robert developed his own individual methods and style.

Robert was not afraid to collaborate with other artists and work to inspire each other in producing work. He cultivated ideas with other artists and his range of materials soon became quite diverse. He began to combine paintings with found times using discarded “rubbish” off the street creating a meld of 2D and 3D – sculpture and painting. He combined dance, music and drama into his work and also did some interesting castings in glass of everyday items.

Robert also tried out screen printing showing events and social issues of the day. His thinking was more towards that of a citizen of the world rather than of just one country, a concern for all humanity not just one part of it.

A quote from him states: “I don’t think of myself as making art. I do what I do because I want to, because painting is the best way I’ve found to get along with myself.”

Another states: “The artist’s joy is to be a witness to her (or her) time in history.”

PERSONAL COMMENT

I can’t see long term value in found objects as they are likely to deteriorate quickly so can not connect with Robert’s style or methods especially with his use of bits and pieces off the street. We are told that if we are creating art that is “gallery quality” we must select the highest quality materials so that they will be able to last the test of long term display. It is also a type of artwork that I am not particularly interested in apart from having an ocassional experimental “play” with to “loosen up my mind and let out some creativity.”

I do like Robert’s creativity and willingness to follow his own path. I made a few notes about his philosophy in art and his own style:

He had a basic dislike for rules
He had early dyslexia and didn’t fit in at school
He held that being an artist was not a conscious decision
His art was a reflection of what was going on around him
He had a deep desire to escape the confines of his small industrial town upbringing
He needed to leave behind his strict home life
He wanted his art to go in totally new directions
He constantly questioned the nature of art. IE: what am I creating? Is art fleeting like life?

My final question: Can the exposure to all facets of art make me a better or more developed artist and person?

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