Artist Robert Rauschenberg, the man who saved us from abstract expressionism, died Monday at the age of 82. The Times describes him as a "brash, garrulous, hard-drinking, open-faced Southerner." People used to care way more about art when it was made by people like that instead of twee New School students. Rauschenberg started out making art out of junk he found on the streets of lower Manhattan, announcing that if you didn't find "soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles" beautiful than you must be a miserable bastard. So go to the Moma this week and see First Landing Jump, which is made of "a rusted license plate, an enamel light reflector, a tire impaled by a street barrier, a man's shirt, a blue lightbulb in a can, and a black tarpaulin." And some paint and canvas, sure. [NYT]