Robert Rauschenberg died Monday night at the age of 82. The world has lost an extremely talented and exceptionally prolific artist.
It’s odd, for some reason I knew he was going to die this year. I wish I had a better sense of my own matters.
It should be obvious that he was a huge influence on me and one of the few creative heroes of mine — sadly, most of them have passed away. I was familiar with his work but I didn’t get into it until I was in college. I was attracted to it because it was similar to a lot of the things I was doing and continue to do. I was surprised to find he stole a lot of my ideas and techniques — yes, I’m aware he did them way before me.
In my senior year of college I did my thesis for contemporary art history class on The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece, sort of a one-piece retrospective of his long career that was almost 1,000 feet long when it was shown at MASS MoCA in 2000. The paper was titled “Robert Rauschenberg’s Enormous P… hurumph… Painting,” which is available for download if you’d like to read more about it and glean further evidence of how poor my writing skills were.
Tonight, I finally got a piece of wood big enough for my life-size self-portrait. I bought a piece of 4×8 plywood and had them cut it into 2 2×8 pieces. This piece is going to be big, and I’ll have enough for another big one. I’m not a large person and the wood probably weighs more than I do, but I’m going to add some embellishments.
Finding someone to help me was difficult (am I fucking invisible?) Once I found someone to acknowledge my existence, everything went smoothly — until I got to my little car. It barely fit; somehow I managed to wrestle it in and close the trunk. It went from the trunk, over the passenger seat, and pushed against the windshield. When I got in the driver’s seat, the plywood was a few inches away from my head. If I took a sharp turn or got in an accident, I would have been decapitated. The chances of either of those were increased because I couldn’t see to my right so well. I like to live on the edge.
I plan to finish this piece over the weekend. I haven’t decided if I’m going include my boy parts. I probably will because it’ll look weird if I don’t. I’m not shy about such things. I’m just shy when I talk to strangers.
I also went to the office supply store and craft store. Nothing interesting happened. I bought a big letter X and X-acto blades (always need more, I go through 2 a night).
I love going to office supply and hardware stores. I can spend hours looking and thinking of things to make. Whenever I’m bored or feeling low, that’s what I do.
The ladies love me… no, that’s not true… a lady loves me… wait, that’s not exactly true either… a lady tolerates me… occasionally… yes, that’s it. Anyway, this lady sent me some saucy photographs she took of herself, which were a welcome surprise to see in my inbox this evening after a hellish day. Being the I-can-do-something-with-these sort of guy — especially when there are semi-nude photographs involved — I messed around with them and made a little something (prints are available in our store that has yet to be created). Of course she blurred out her breasts so I had to guess (they look a bit off, I’ll have to fix them; sorry if I got the size wrong). I’m not going to post the original photos; I can’t afford to piss anyone off and I occasionally need to talk to someone other than myself, my coworkers, and that weird lady that asks me for a quarter everyday.
This is sort of a test. I’ve had the idea of doing something like this for awhile. The hard part is finding a source for materials. Not for the random bits of textures, I have plenty of those, but for models — human models. I’ve posted on here many times and asked around, but no one seems to be interested. The only one who’s interested is the same one who sent me the photos — she’s been my model for years. Unfortunately, she lives on the other side of the lake. If you know anyone who would be interested, contact me.
Also, when I got home from the office this evening, my roommate wanted me to take some photos of her to send to someone. Being the nice guy that I am, I obliged. It made me laugh.
Yup, there’s nothing like messing around in Photoshop after working in Photoshop all day at work. I suppose it’s good thing, I’m getting better at it. Besides, there’s not much else to do: it’s cold, my car is still buried from last week’s snow, and I need to keep busy.