Best Quotes by Robert Rauschenberg

People ask me, ‘Don’t you ever run out of ideas?’ Well, on the first place, I don’t use ideas. Every time I have an idea, it’s too limiting and usually turns out to be a disappointment. But I haven’t run out of curiosity.

Robert Rauschenberg

I think a painting is more like the real world if it’s made out the real world.

Robert Rauschenberg

The artist’s job is to be a witness to his time in history.

Robert Rauschenberg

If you don’t have trouble paying the rent, you have trouble doing something else; one needs just a certain amount of trouble.

Robert Rauschenberg

I usually work in a direction until I know how to do it, then I stop. At the time that I am bored or understand – I use those words interchangeably – another appetite has formed. A lot of people try to think up ideas. I’m not one. I’d rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can’t ignore.

Robert Rauschenberg

Screwing things up is a virtue. Being correct is never the point. I have an almost fanatically correct assistant, and by the time she re-spells my words and corrects my punctuation, I can’t read what I wrote. Being right can stop all the momentum of a very interesting idea.

Robert Rauschenberg

An empty canvas is full.

Robert Rauschenberg

The only thing that I could get with chance, and I never was able to use it, was that I would end up with something quite geometric or the spirit that I was interested in, indulging in, was gone.

Robert Rauschenberg

I’m sure we don’t read old paintings the way they were intended.

Robert Rauschenberg

I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly, because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.

Robert Rauschenberg

I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly, because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.

Robert Rauschenberg

And all of this, all these physical aspects of painting at that time excited me very much. You could do a picture in just black and white. I mean all the things, whether you’re soliciting permission or not, do give you permission.

Robert Rauschenberg

A newspaper that you’re not reading can be used for anything; and the same people didn’t think it was immoral to wrap their garbage in newspaper.

Robert Rauschenberg

Every time I’ve moved, my work has changed radically.

Robert Rauschenberg

There was a whole language that I could never make function for myself in relationship to painting and that was attitudes like tortured, struggle, pain.

Robert Rauschenberg

So that ideas of sort of relaxed symmetry have been something for years that I have been concerned with because I think that symmetry is a neutral shape as opposed to a form of design.

Robert Rauschenberg

You begin with the possibilities of the material.

Robert Rauschenberg

I wouldn’t use the same color in a picture in more than one place.

Robert Rauschenberg

Well, I like way downtown near the Battery. I lived down there at this time and for, I guess, the following well, this is where I moved to uptown and I’ve been here for four years and this is 1965.

Robert Rauschenberg

Very quickly a painting is turned into a facsimile of itself when one becomes so familiar with with it that one recognizes it without looking at it.

Robert Rauschenberg

Pollock also… wanted one to be wrapped in the painting.

Robert Rauschenberg

Oracle was I had started it I guess two and a half years ago, maybe even longer than that, closer to three.

Robert Rauschenberg

One can see that a canvas is six feet by eight feet, say, quite accurately. But you can spend two minutes and think it’s five, or thirty seconds and it’s just a different bed for activities there.

Robert Rauschenberg

I’m not so facile that I can accomplish or find out what I want to know or explore enough of the possibilities and a way of making a painting, say, in just one painting or two paintings.

Robert Rauschenberg

I think maybe chance works better in a situation like music because music exists over a period of time, and you don’t maintain constantly the you can’t refer back from one area to another area.

Robert Rauschenberg

I got so I was really just sick of sculpture.

Robert Rauschenberg

I don’t think any one person, whether artist or not, has been given permission by anyone to put the responsibility of the way things are on anyone else.

Robert Rauschenberg

I don’t mess around with my subconscious.

Robert Rauschenberg

I did a twenty foot print and John Cage is involved in that because he was the only person I knew in New York who had a car and who would be willing to do this.

Robert Rauschenberg

I always have a good reason for taking something out but I never have one for putting something in. And I don’t want to, because that means that the picture is being painted predigested.

Robert Rauschenberg

But I was in awe of the painters; I mean I was new in New York, and I thought the painting that was going on here was just unbelievable.

Robert Rauschenberg

But I found a lot of artists at the Cedar Bar were difficult for me to talk to.

Robert Rauschenberg

And I think that even today, New York still has more of this unexpected quality around every corner than any place else. It’s something quite extraordinary.

Robert Rauschenberg

And I think a painting has such a limited life anyway.

Robert Rauschenberg

And also the new excitement and variety of ways that the abstract expressionists were applying paint. You could put it on as though it were colored air and it would be painting.

Robert Rauschenberg

You have to have the time to feel sorry for yourself in order to be a good abstract expressionist.

Robert Rauschenberg

Steichen bought my first photographs that I ever sold. He recognized the style from the school of Black Mountain. After that, it was about twenty years before I sold another photograph.

Robert Rauschenberg

Photography has always been a major part of my vision: my excuse for meddling with what the world looks like.

Robert Rauschenberg

If you’re going to paint extremely, you need a big piece of canvas.

Robert Rauschenberg

Anything you do will be an abuse of somebody else’s aesthetics. I think you’re born an artist or not. I couldn’t have learned it. And I hope I never do because knowing more only encourages your limitations.

Robert Rauschenberg