Recently in my Art in the Modern Era course, we were assigned to pick a modern artist and find a scholarly article about them to reflect on it. I truly did enjoy the assignment because I learned quite a bit about the artist I chose and I would love to write about him for this week’s post!
Now, who is the artist I chose? Well he goes by the name of Marcel Duchamp. Most know him because of his infamous porcelain urinal, which he signed “R.Mutt” and titled it “Fountain.” For me, Duchamp is the most fascinating person I have ever learned about! Duchamp seems like he was this sassy little artist who would not be stopped by anyone. I wish he were still alive today because I would definitely do everything in my power to meet him!
Like many artists throughout history, he was an artist of many talents. He truly pushed limits within the art world that were very different than those before him. Duchamp had such a highly influential effect on twentieth-century art. He had the kind of influence one would not expect from many artists. Duchamp was not like many artists even though he started off following the trends of the artists around him. However, soon enough he rejected the trends of his time and wandered into a whole new realm, and personally I am glad he did! Art is not a cut and dry kind of concept which Duchamp could see. He questioned the what, how, when, where, and whys of art, which lead Duchamp to introduce the world to what he called readymades. Readymades were found objects whose intent and original purpose was altered and transformed into new purposes and meanings.
Duchamp truly pushed the question of what art is with his readymades. It was the idea, the initial thought, that was important rather than the visuals. The readymades were truly an expressionistic type of art, which for me is important. I feel at times, artists get too caught up with the rules of art and lose their true creative selves. Yes, the rules are important but remember it is okay to break a few here and there in order to create something mind blowing!