We all need 'Heroes'; people that we (subconsciously) make bigger than life, people that inspire and enrich our lives. I rarely speak in hyperbole, but I can say, without doubt, that John Cage has had a more profound impact on me than any other artist I have ever known. His involvement with indeterminacy and chance operations as well as his employment of structure/discipline in the highest order are absolutely fascinating. His history is also rich and complex with other creatives; Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Johns, Merce Cunningham, Karlheinz Stockhausen, etc...Cage is limitless in inspiration, techniques, curiosity, questions and solutions. He is a truly fascinating individual. I have been studying his work (as well as his many collaborators) for nearly ten years, and it never gets boring (although often very complex and challenging).
Poet, public speaker, mycologist, printmaker, painter, filmmaker, macrobiotic, performer, composer, Zen Buddhist, this guy did it all.
To summarize, his work is REALLY beautiful stuff.