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A Marriage Made in Heaven: Robert Rauschenberg and Skateroom

Anyone visiting the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition at Tate Modern will be struck by his techniques of assemblage, conceptual ideas, lithoprints, and colour saturation. Rauschenberg occupies an important place in art history as someone who thought deeply about the connections between art and life in his response to Abstract Expressionism. How delighted he would have been to see that his work is now on skateboards, with money from the sales going to Skateroom’s involvement with non-profit organization, Skateistan.

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The collection was developed in conjunction with the artist’s retrospective that started on the 1st of December at Tate Modern and will continue at the MoMA in New York by May 2017, followed by San Francisco MoMA in November, 2017. This is the first major exhibition of his work in the UK for nearly 35 years and the first retrospective of Rauschenberg’s work since his death in 2008.
One of the 20th century’s most influential American artists, Robert Rauschenberg was known for his groundbreaking work as well as a spirit of generosity and social activism. Rauschenberg also stood behind many causes ranging from environmental protection to the role of art in education to the connection between freedom of expression and human rights.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s partnership with Skateroom is part of the Foundation’s new cause-licensing initiative to bring Rauschenberg’s artwork — and his generous spirit — to a new audience. Royalties will support the Foundation’s grant-making in art, social justice, climate change, and education.

The Foundation felt that Skateroom was a natural partner since they have done such wonderful collaborations with other artists and artist estates, such as Basquiat & Warhol, and because they donate a portion of their proceeds to a nonprofit organisation called Skateistan, that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa.

“We are thrilled to partner with Skateroom on this special collection of Rauschenberg skateboards,” said Christy MacLear, CEO of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. “Not only are the boards beautiful and fun, Skateroom shares Robert Rauschenberg’s personal belief in the power of art to create positive change.”

Many of the artworks selected for the Rauschenberg Skateroom collaboration were part of, or closely related to, Rauschenberg’s ROCI project, which stands for Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange. ROCI was Rauschenberg’s tangible expression of his belief in art as a catalyst for global dialogue. Once again, Skateroom’s skateboards are top of SEEN’s Christmas list, for all the right reasons.

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