“Monogram”

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Robert Rauchenberg, “Monogram” 1955. Mixed media installation.

Modern art is hard. Hard to grasp, often hard to connect with, hard to look away. I think there is often a factor of the unknown that people find intimidating, so they choose not to engage. While I am in no way comparing myself to Julia Roberts, I love what her character says to her students in the film Mona Lisa Smile: “You don’t have to like it, but you have to consider it.” Rauchenberg is often one of those artists, and Monogram is definitely one of those pieces. Let’s put it this way – artists like to experiment and push boundaries of what art IS and what art MEANS. I think the most interesting idea behind Monogram is recontextualizing the painting – it intrudes into the viewers realm – abolishing that invisible (and simultaneously literal) “wall” between artwork and viewer. Rauchenberg is famous for saying he wanted to “work in the gap between art and life,” therefore questioning if there even is a distinction between what is art and what is life. 

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2 thoughts on ““Monogram”

  1. Lovely little insights. I’m usually telling people that are so quick to say they “don’t like it” or “don’t get it” that they just didn’t look at the thing long enough. Its amazing the places your brain can go if you just stop and give it a minute to warm up.

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