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About this blog: John Barry is the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which he applies paint to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. With Bill Carmel and other associates, he has bro...  (More)

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Proto-trAction Painting

Uploaded: Mar 7, 2018
I (John) paint with bikes, scooters, skates, and other wheeled conveyances. I count Jackson Pollock as a primary influence. Pollock was the avatar of Action Painting, a name I incorporated into my paint application creation: trAction Painting.

But only recently did I realize an unknown debt to Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage. The exhibition “Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules” runs at SFMOMA until March 28. Rauschenberg was a master of eclecticism, working in almost every genre and medium. With Cage, in 1953, he collaborated on a piece that had the two taping 20 pieces of paper together, to form a paper trail that was about 30 feet long. They laid it out on a street, and Rauschenberg poured a pool of black paint next to one end of the paper trail. Cage drove this Ford Model A through the paint and across the paper; the result was “Automobile Tire Print.”



As the explanation of the work puts it: “The finished piece has been interpreted as a print, a drawing, and a performance, as well as an early example of Rauschenberg’s interest in alternative forms of markmaking and his irreverence toward artists who glorified the brushstroke.”

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