Jens Faurschou tells the story of how he bought Robert Rauschenberg’s late work, Mirthday Man:
In 2003 we were in New York to choose new works for a show in Copenhagen. And then [a curator of the Rauschenberg Foundation] David White said: “There is a work you have to see,” and he took us to whats called The Chapel on Lafayette Street. And then I got the “Oh my God” feeling and I asked how much and he said: “No, no, no, no, no. Its not for sale.” The work was “Mirthday Man.” Rauschenberg made it for himself for his 72nd birthday. It is a self-portrait with his own X-ray and his lifes history around him with all the motifs, like the parasols from Florida. When there is something you really want to have, you stick to it. Back home I sent a telefax to him asking if I could buy it, but got no as an answer. Then around three months later, I received a call saying: “You can have the painting.” I still remember it. I was in front of a SticksnSushi in Hellerup. I think I danced. […]
If “Mirthday Man” shall leave us, it should go to the Museum of Modern Art. They still are lacking this period of Rauschenberg and this is the best one from the late period. When such an important place is interested, we shall not be in the way.
Danish Collector Jens Faurschou on Life Beyond the Gallery (WSJ)