One rainy morning in 1953, Rauschenberg woke up to see Fulton Street empty of traffic.
A month after meeting Stella, Castelli showed Cy Twombly, another Southerner like Rauschenberg and Johns.
But the durable allure of Rauschenberg and Johns, their coded love and art, is not just cranky nostalgia.
“Jasper and I used to start each day by having to move out from Abstract Expressionism,” Rauschenberg once said.
Rivalry between the two camps was fierce: Famously, Rauschenberg once erased a Willem de Kooning drawing.
Having devolved to Johns vs. Rauschenberg, these two struggling boho talents wound up slumdog millionaires.
“What had been sensitive and tender became gossip,” said Rauschenberg in a rare mention.