Damage, 2014

Damage, 2014
Acrylic paint, inkjet print, collage
© Richard Guest 2014

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In 1953, Robert Rauschenberg erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning. He wanted to bring drawing into the “all whites” (he was making completely white paintings at the time). He had been making drawings himself and erasing them. But they just looked like erased Rauschenbergs. It just looked like nothing to him and he realised the drawing had to begin as “art”. For it to be an important piece, Rauschenberg decided it had to be a de Kooning (who was an incredibly important painter at that time). Rauschenberg bought a bottle of Jack Daniels and knocked on de Kooning’s door. He prayed that the other artist would not be at home and that the attempt would be the work. But de Kooning was at home. After a few awkward moments, Rauschenberg told de Kooning what he had in mind. de Kooning said he understood what Rauschenberg wanted to do, but that he was opposed to the idea. Rauschenberg hoped that de Kooning would refuse, and that the attempt to win de Kooning over would be the work. But then de Kooning said, “OK, but I want it to be something I’ll miss. I want to give you something really difficult to erase.” He gave Rauschenberg a drawing made with charcoal, oil paint, pencil, and crayon. Rauschenberg spent a month erasing the drawing.  When it was done, he asked Jasper Johns to write an inscription, which would form a label for the drawing. He wrote: Erased de Kooning Drawing, Robert Rauschenberg, 1953. The drawing was framed in a simple gilded frame. It is now in the collection of SF MoMA.

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Every Colour You Are, 2014– Every Colour You Are, 2014 –

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Damage, Every Colour You Are and Blinding Light of Heaven are all tracks from David Sylvian and Robert Fripp’s album, Damage (2001). You can listen to the title track here.

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Blinding Light of Heaven, 2014– The Blinding Light of Heaven, 2014 –

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Modern art to me is nothing more than the expression of contemporary aims of the age that we’re living in…The thing that interests me is that today painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. They work from a different source. They work from within.

(from an untransmitted interview with Jackson Pollock for Sag Harbor radio station, 1950)

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