Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monogram 1955-59

Here's one last Rauschenberg thing ...

I love the looks on the Guggenheim employees as they're moving the goat with the fork lift.  "OMG, there's the goat!"  I'm referring to the awe with which they beheld it.  The white gloves they used whenever they touched it, or while assembling its base.

It's like that line from The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down
Yeah.  There goes the Robert E. Lee.

Usually I ship my paintings rolled.  Not so long ago, however, with a Greenspan painting, the buyer wanted it shipped flat.  I said, "Okay, but that's exponentially more expensive so the shipping is on you."  Which was fine with him.  So I delivered the painting to the USArt warehouse -- my art shipping company of choice -- somewhere in Queens.

Understand that this painting had been rolled, unrolled, rolled, unrolled, stuffed in a golf bag, dragged around the subways of New York, unfurled and annotated not only on Wall Street but in the Peter McManus Cafe as well.  Also, during the painting stages, kicked around the floor of my studio, stepped on, spit on, sweated on, and generally disregarded in any number of ways.

Yet once I handed it to the nice people at USArt they all wore white gloves and treated it as well as they might have treated Picasso's Three Musicians.  Perhaps not that well, but really, it was given the royal treatment.  They measured it, took photos of it, identified miscellaneous bits of filth that have migrated from the New York sidewalk to the underside of the painting, wrote everything down and had me sign it.  The bill of lading, not the painting.  That had already been signed.

Just before they took it away to be wrapped, I put my mouth up to one of its corners and said, "Don't every let anybody tell you you aren't a great painting."

And then it was gone.


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