One of the greats of the Art world passed on this week. Robert Rauschenberg. He was one of my primary influences when starting my long hard slog to being an artist. It was years ago (high school, in fact) when I say my very first Rauschenberg work at S.F.Moma. It was what he called a combine...what I call assemblage.
where as assemblage is defined as this:assemblage sculpture - A three-dimensional composition made of various materials found objects, paper, wood, and textiles
Now, I admit that according to the definition, the term combine might be more correct in describing my work than assemblage...but only by a nose...besides, assemblage (assemblahhhhhzzzzzhhhhh) has a nicer ring to it. To each his own.
I can't tell you what an effect his work and others like him had on me. You might say: but it looks nothing like your work. But once upon a time my work was more like his than it was like mine. The reason was that when I was in Art School I dabbled in abstract expressionism. I was fascinated by texture of paint, and how paint was able to mix with other textures as well as actual objects. This exploration allowed me to use my paint the way I do today....because of his influence, I was inspired to understand what paint actually does, what it is as a physical, tactile element,and how it relates to foreign objects. There were others who inspired me in this regard, in particular, such as Anselm Kieffer, but I think Rauschenberg was the first to show me that paint and found object art can work together.
"think a painting is more like the real world if it's made out the real world."