Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Art, Death, & Garage Sales

You all know I’m a garage sale fiend. “One man’s trash is another man’s (_____________) well, it’s actually treasure; but you can substitute the name of any starlet on THE HILLS. Anyway; one fantasy I have long had is that I find some great piece at a garage sale or swap meet that turns out to be some rare & priceless object. I am not alone in this that is why ANTIQUE ROADSHOW is such a hit. Its also why I loved that documentary a few years back called, “Who the Fu** Is Jackson Pollack?” Did you see that? It tells the story of a fabulous old broad who buys a painting at a thrift store for $5 to give to a friend as a joke & it turns out to be a really valuable work by the American painter, Jackson Pollack & upon this discovery our heroine exclaims the above film title. Then things get more dramatic as various prissy art experts & dealers etc debate the authenticity of the painting.

Anyway; so bout 5 years ago I go to this garage sale in Hollywood. I see this enormous & colorful painting displayed on an easel. “How much for this?” I inquire in my best God-I-really-like-it-but-can’t-act-too-ineterested-garage-sale-speak.
Guy says $5. I get it home & see the signature; “Rauschenberg 86” OMG I start googling, looking for other Rauchenberg works, only to ultimately determine that my painting was likely done by Ruth Rauschenberg of Sherman Oaks, CA & not the world famous Robert Rauschenberg of Texas. But for a little while I was so excited to think my fantasy was about to become reality.

The real Robert Rauschenberg died today at age 82. In reading his obituary I was delighted to learn the story of how when he was once without canvas to paint on he took the quilt & pillow off his bed, hung it on the wall & applied every means at his disposal (including nail polish!) in order to create a work that he was inspired to do. As if he didn’t have any other choice. I think that says a lot about the life & spirit of a great artist. And he was one. Even if it’s a Ruth Rauschenberg hanging in my bathroom, I recognize that.

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