28 May 2010

A urinal................The most influential art of the 20th century!!!!!

This is one artist I don’t think many of us have heard of, but take a look at the kind of art he created!!!

Called as ‘The Fountain’, this piece of installation art was created by the artist Marcel Duchamp in the year 1917. He called it as ‘readymades’ or found art since he made use of an already exisiting object & affixed his signature to it, giving it credibility in the name of art.

To understand the work, it is important to understand the artist behind the work. Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) came to the US from France & became a part of the Dada movement, an anti-art cultural movement. He wasn’t satisfied with just being an artist & didn’t want to be a part of any art camp. This prompted him to express his creative abilities through other means.

To create ‘ The Fountain’, he purchased a standard Bertfordshire urinal & re-oriented it to a position of 90 degrees from its normal position of use & wrote on it, “R. Mutt 1917”

This model was then given to the Society of Independent Artists of which he was a board member, under the above pseudonym which was received with a lot of shock & indecision & was hidden from public view. Subsequently the work was also featured in a Dadaist article entitled the ‘The Richard Mutt Case’ with a caption proclaiming, “Whether Mr Mutt made the fountain with his own hands or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object” This article helped in giving it recognition & pointed out the fact that a general physical craft was given an intellectual interpretation. Subsequently, this original piece was discarded. Thus Duchamp made several similar works again under his own name & these are now a part of many public collections all around the world.

In December 2004, the artwork was voted the most influential art work of the 20th Century by a group of British artists & it just goes to show that creativity is just about thinking differently!!!

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