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Bruce Nauman's been creeping us out since the 1960’s

Bruce and the rest of the the Nauman family moved many times. Eventually they ended up in Wauwatosa (wauwawhat?), a town near Milwaukee. Being one of those shy and lonely kids, he found solace in playing with the polka band in high school. After that, he studied mathematics and physics at the University of Wisconsin. Right after graduating he married his high school sweetheart Judy Govan, mainly because his parents would've been very, very upset if they didn’t. The couple moved to California where Bruce studied art at UC Davis, together with Robert Arneson. It’s impossible to describe Naumans’ work in one sentence, but my best attempt would be “art that makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable." Whether it’s a video work, an installation, or photography, his work gives you an uncanny feeling. It could be his love for clowns, claustrophobia and obsessive behavior.

This guy is living proof you can’t blame your parents for your failing art career. His parents weren't interested in art and the Nauman family rarely visited a museum. Bruce didn't develop his love for visual arts until his second year of college. Yet, he was pretty successful from the start! In 1966 a young Nicholas Wilder, one of the most influential art dealers of the time, came by UC Davis to take a look at Nauman's stuff. Legend goes, Wilder at one point said “I really need a Dr Pepper." While taking some sips of his soda, he casually offered Nauman a solo show at his gallery. The rest is history.

His marriage to Judy Govan didn’t last, but they did have two children. After their divorce, he shacked up with his daughter's kindergarten teacher, Harriet Lindenberg. Actually, she asked him out, since he was too shy. Harriet was the woman who persuaded him to move to New Mexico. Bruce was pretty certain he would “shrivel up and die” in the state. But eventually he loved it and turned into a real cattle herding cowboy. Santa Fe has a thriving art scene, but he steers clear of the art colony there. To this day, he still lives on his 600-acre ranch. Harriet left though. Two years after meeting total art babe Susan Rothenberg at a dinner party, she traded the bustling New York art scene for his ranch and they lived happily ever after. #goals.  


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman (born December 6, 1941) is an American artist. His practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, printmaking, and performance. Nauman lives near Galisteo, New Mexico.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Bruce Nauman