In an interview with German daily Die Zeit, Robert Rauschenberg, who currently has a survey of his Combine mixed-media paintings at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, shared his love for his favorite art critic: his pet turtle, Rocky.
The only eternal thing I own is how the artist describes his long-time pal; although, being a desert turtle, Rockys apparently not too fond of Florida, where Rauschenberg has a home. Once I brought him down here and he didn't eat a thing for two weeks, so I took him back up to New York. He likes it there with all the art.
But Rockys no dilettante. He likes art, really, it's no joke. Each time we re-hang the paintings he crawls around, stretches out his neck and sooner or later finds his favorite work. Then he just sits around it like some art critic. In fact, he's the best one I know."
While we love Rauschenberg's love for his pet, ArtInfo could not help but notice that Rocky doesnt sound like a "desert turtle" at all, but rather a tortoise. Turtles spend most of their lives in water; Tortoises are land-dwellers that live in hot, dry habitatslike deserts. There is of course, the possibility that Rocky is in fact a terrapin, which spend equal time on both water and land.