i always find it amazing that what smells like trash and looks like trash in the back of my truck, on the side of the road, or in my backyard (to the horror of my husband and neighbors) looks like art when you slap it into a white box with dramatic lighting. i am not mocking the white box; as a matter of fact, in a sick kind of way, i love the white box. it stands in perfect opposition to the rawness of what i am drawn to make.
LIGHTING. lighting was one of the elements that made Rauschenberg’s recent cardboard box exhibition at the Menil feel so fleshy and human. when i saw the menil’s brochure for the show, the boxes appeared as boxes, i was not overly attracted. but when i stepped into the intimately lite space, the works were transformed; i was transformed. i’ve been partial to Rauschenberg’s combines since i first saw them in padget’s contemporary painting class in 2005, but the Menil’s presentation of his boxes overwhelmed me with an awesome gnawing response to his unboxy, boxes. i had to restrain myself from caressing the work. would this have been so if they had been in a cold harsh light? i think not.
i suppose lighting is like hair–a bad hair day can make anyone look bad, but a good hair day, well it just makes my perspective on life good that day.0