The combination of objects, images and lines of paint does not seek perceptive unity - despite the odd visual interlacing of the goat and the tire - but division. The goat, despite the tire it wears around its middle, remains implacably a goat and the tire a tire. The meaning of the assemblage is attained in this. (Adams, 1996)
If the tire is a reference to the artist's childhood living close to a tire factory according to some contemporary art books, its association with the goat raises questions. The title Monogram renders this montage even more enigmatic: Monogram, or the interlacing of several letters to form a single character, composed here of the entanglement of the goat and the tire. Thus the letter O passes around the animal to make a knot as a rebellion against meaning and all ideas of beauty. (Nelson, 1996) The Ready-made (tire) and stuffed animal coexist in this work that, in keeping with the artist's wishes, leaves as much place for the viewer as for the artist.
That looking turned breathless in 1959 when Rauschenberg completed Monogram, one of the most outlandish and barbarous works of art ever made. Monogram features a stuffed Angora goat encircled by a tire. The goat, whose snout is covered in multicolored war paint, is standing on a painting, as if grazing at pasture.