pastel collage

Robert Rauschenberg

Canto XXXIII: Circle Nine, Cocytus, Compound Fraud: Round 2, Antenora, Treacherous to Country; Round 3, Ptolomea, Treacherous to Guests and Hosts from the series Thirty-Four Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno (1959-60)

Solvent transfer drawing, watercolor, and pencil on paper (36.8 × 29.2 cm)

via: MoMA

Rauschenberg made one drawing for each Canto, or section, of Dante’s poem The Inferno (1308–1321). Together they are a virtual encyclopedia of modern-day imagery, made by transferring photographic reproductions from magazines or newspapers onto the drawing surface. This was accomplished by moistening the drawing sheet with a liquid that acts as a solvent for printer’s ink. “I think a picture is more like the real world when it’s made out of the real world,” Rauschenberg said. With additional imagery in pencil, crayon, pastel, and collage, the drawings reflect Rauschenberg’s desire to infiltrate his art with the scenes and sounds of the surrounding world, a radical departure from the more transcendent ambitions of Abstract Expressionism.

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.
We throw around the word never likes its nothing but a small rose petal. The word never is a doubled edged sword. On one side it says ‘I will never leave you’ and on the other it says ‘I will never love you.’
—  The Word Never
Looking back, I can’t remember the truth. I blew everything out of proportion so I could feel the hurt and betrayal and write about it in vivid detail. It was my own method of torture. My own undoing; and I enjoyed every second of it.
—  c.j.n.