During the course of organizing Rauschenberg: Collecting & Connecting, curator and Duke professor Kristine Stiles collected beautiful quotes by the American painter, known as “Bob” by his friends and family. We are pleased to share a few here.
“Understanding is a form of blindness. Good art, I think, can never be understood.”
“Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)”
I don’t think that any honest artist sets out to make art. You love art. You live art. You are art. You do art. But you’re just doing something. You’re doing what no one can stop you from doing. And so, it doesn’t have to be art. And that is your life. [pause] But you also can’t make life. And so there’s something in between there that, because you, you flirt with the idea of that, that it is art. I think the definition of art would have to be…. about how much use you can make of it. Because if you try to separate the two, art can be very self-conscious and a blinding fact. But life doesn’t really need it. So it’s also another blinding fact.
IMAGE: Robert Rauschenberg, 1974. Photograph by Art Kane.