By Christine Snyder

This week’s featured artist in honor of Pride Month is Robert Rauschenberg!  Robert Rauschenberg was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1925.  Having a lifelong love of nature and animals, Rauschenberg was once suspended from school for refusing to dissect a frog.  As an adult, he was described as gregarious, generous, down-to-earth, and risk-taking.  He discovered his talent for art while drawing his comrades in the navy.  After being discharged from the navy, he lived and worked in North Carolina and New York City, but eventually settled on Captiva Island, Florida.

Rauschenberg began visiting Captiva in 1962, and bought a beach home there in 1968.  He described Captiva as being the foundation of his life, work, and energy.  He was known for hosting fabulous parties and for mingling with famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.  He dated famous abstract expressionist, Jasper Johns, for 6 years and studied under famous Bauhaus teacher, Josef Albers.  Even through all of his success and notoriety, he was described as never being an elitist.

Rauschenberg was creating pop art before pop art was even recognized, turning household trash like cardboard boxes into wall sculptures.  He often incorporated everyday items into his art, and his work spanned from photography and printmaking to sculpture and performance.  He was known for being extremely generous and unmotivated by money.  He passed away peacefully in his beach home in Captiva in 2008, surrounded by his friends, partner, and art.  I’m so happy to wrap up our pride month series on such a kind, generous person!  


Retroactive II, 1963


First Landing Jump, 1961


Glass Tire


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