Thinking in a Different Way

Morgan Whaley
Oct 14, 2014 11:37PM

I have always loved Robert Rauschenberg’s work. It wasn’t until recently that I found out that he was dyslexic. I am also dyslexic and have known it since before kindergarten. I have always been extremely aware of dyslexia and took special classes and even went to a school for individuals with dyslexia.

I am currently working on my senior collection for my fashion degree. I was inspired by my disorder and am using my dyslexia for my concept. When I was researching for inspiration, I looked into artists with dyslexia. I was planning on only finding a couple, but I ended up finding out that a lot of artists, even Andy Warhol, were dyslexics. Chuck Close was another artist I came across. I recently watched a documentary about Close and in it was an interview with Rauschenberg. In the interview Rauschenberg spoke about being dyslexic. He stated, “You have to make venues to absorb your talents. I have trouble reading and I have no time memory. It’s kind of nice! Instead of writing and reading, I drew in my way.” I feel like dyslexia is similar to a sense, so when you lose one sense your other senses gets stronger. As a dyslexic, we are unable to read and spell; therefore we can’t strive academically, so we create and see things in a different light.

For my gallery show, I only want to show work from artists with dyslexia. The artists shown would definitely be Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, and of course, Robert Rauschenberg. I chose to have artists with similar styles and that were creating art around the same time. I want the viewer to see the world through the eyes of a dyslexic person. I also want them to be able to see what goes through a dyslexic mind. Andy Warhol stated, “You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand because those are the only good things.” In addition, I want everyone to view the face behind the art, almost showing the faces of dyslexia. I do have a portrait of Warhol and Close but not of Rauschenberg. Unfortunately, there were very few options of Chuck Close that were owned by an institution. I wish I could have a portrait of Robert Rauschenberg created by Chuck Close. My overall goal of the gallery show is to show dyslexia in a positive light. I feel like dyslexia is always thought of a negative thing, so I would hope to change the stigma. 

Morgan Whaley