Detail of first panel of Robert Rauschenberg's Autobiography
Fittingly, the skeleton at the center of Autobiography’s first panel is based on an X-ray of the artist. Rauschenberg used a photographic process to transfer the X-ray to a lithographic stone for printing. He repurposed the image several times, including in the lithograph Booster (1967) and his kinetic multimedia series Revolver (1967). In Autobiography Rauschenberg chose to surround his skeleton with a chart for his astrological sign, Libra, and two other images that recurred frequently in his works—a bicycle tire and a photographer's strobe light umbrella. The latter form also appears in his silkscreen painting Scanning (1963).