Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ode to Rauschenberg and De Kooning

Today I was in want of another panel and I started to look around the studio for the spare panel that I was sure that I had.  I couldn't find the panel though.  I did however find a painting that I did not wish to keep.  The idea was weak.  At least the finished product with that idea was weak.  I decided that I wanted to get rid of it.  Usually I paint over images but this time I was more taken with the idea of Robert Rauschenberg erasing a Willem De Kooning drawing.  What was it for Rauschenberg to erase a De Kooning?  It's always been a piece that has stuck with me.  I never really understood why I thought it was important.  Sure there are lines of thought that you can read in books.  If you can believe the ideas that others preach to you I am sure that that is a good enough explanation for why something is important, but today as I was sanding my old painting down and creating this pile of dust I really started to see that the labor involved with both the addition and the subtraction of this work was more evident when it was no longer part of the piece.  At the same time, the product of the work then becomes a pile of dust which is also a pleasant correlation.  All that any of us produces eventually becomes dust.  We eventually become dust.

Here are a couple images of the sanding.

It is incredible to understand an artists' work through replication rather than through study.  I am glad that I thought of the piece this morning.  It is weird to feel so proud of a pile of dust, which I will have to sweep into the trash so as not to let my cats into it, but proud I am anyway.

More later.

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