28
Sep
11

the kind of prostitute you meet at church

While difficult to identify due to the legendary painter’s stubborn refusal to sign his paintings, the work of Giuseppe Rakneberg ranks among the art world’s great treasures. Over the course of his short life, Rakneberg’s work went from being a simple outpouring of youthful exuberance to a means of coping with the parade of personal tragedies that marked his later years, running the full scope of human emotions along the way.

At the age of 23, his promising career was dealt a potentially fatal blow when he was struck blind, necessitating a complete change in the burgeoning master’s style and technique. Worsening the difficulty for him were the constant reminders from his mother that he would have still had his eyesight had he only learned to limit the time he spent locked in the bathroom during his adolescence. Guilt associated with his mother had already at that point informed some of Rakneberg’s early work, through which he attempted to find redemption in the wake of his perceived role in her health problems, the beginnings of which had coincided with his having stepped on a crack at the age of seven. Rakneberg increasingly viewed art as a way to escape a troubled home life, in which he was charged with caring for his younger brother, who had become a burden on the family after his face had become stuck like that.

Despondent and penniless, Rakneberg took a job as a house painter, having convinced a contractor that he could save him money by being able to work after hours and without the aid of bright spotlights. Though he struggled at first, with time and practice he eventually elevated house painting to an art form, first finding a voice for his pain with the seminal work Blank White Bedroom Wall (1959). Over the next decade, the demand for Rakneberg’s house paintings grew to the point where he was commissioned for larger and more prestigious projects, culminating in an invitation to paint the new cafetorium at the Minnesota School for the Deaf. The resultant work was his masterpiece, the aqua blue walls of Cafetorium Interior (1968) a statement of such clarity and complexity that it left him in a particularly fragile emotional state at its completion. At the unveiling ceremony, this would prove to be his downfall, as the American Sign Language for applause, enthusiastically yet inaudibly displayed by all in attendance, left him with the mistaken impression that his work had not been well-received, since he could not see the crowd cheering wildly, and he went home and took his own life. Compounding the calamity, his loved ones discovered while going through his possessions that he had only needed one more stamp on his card to get a free sub sandwich.

So you can see why the asking price for this house is above market value. Think of it as a bargain, as it is not only a real estate investment, but an important work of art. The seller also requests that you not paint over the eaves, regardless of their disrepair.

Thanks again to Rebecca. She’s an ideas man.

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1 Response to “the kind of prostitute you meet at church”


  1. 1 Rebecca
    September 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Adding this to my list of favorites. Thank you.


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