In 1943, a young sailor named Milton on furlough from his duties in the psych ward at Camp Pendleton wandered into the Huntington Library in San Marino and stood stock-still, transfixed by the aesthetic epiphany of seeing Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie in the flesh. He remembered having seen them reproduced on packs of playing cards back home in Port Arthur, Texas. “It sounds corny,” Milton later recalled, “but my moment of realization that there was such a thing as being an artist happened right there.”
Ten years later, Milton Rauschenberg had changed his name to Bob and the seed planted by that unholy marriage of male and female über-kitsch archetypes, having passed through an art history wormhole called Erased de Kooning, spawned an outpouring of virtuosic and revolutionary visual artifacts unsurpassed in the history of 20th-century visual culture.
more from the LA Weekly here.