As an Art History student, I get questioned daily by friends, family, and classmates as to why I am studying in this field. The tones in their voices are not so often excited, but rather, curious and surprised. I find that the idea of art has become somewhat of a foreign idea to the world. Although it exists, the appreciation for it and it’s potential to demonstrate it’s meaning has been unable to thoroughly reach out to the ones who are unfamiliar. Art is more than just a displayed work for it’s beauty. Behind it all, it is filled with layers and layers of history. Even present day art, modern art, contemporary art, etc., could not have been created by the artist without any inspiration from the art of our past. In other words, our world could not be anything today without the recognition of our past and its art culture, as today is now inspired by numerous artists who went beyond the barrier of creativity and created their own ideas. This reblog, “What Art Means to Me,” above is an excellent post by hannakarr_sacramentoarthistory. It’s simple, beautiful, straight forward, and of course, gives a clear idea as to what art means to her. Please check it out! Enjoy x.
Fountain, Marcel Duchamp, 1917, replica in 1964, Tate
Yes. This is art. There are no limits. Expression is not limited. I’ve recently studied Duchamp and his artworks. Because of his mindset, I can now understand that art could be anything, you just have to feel it. Own it. Believe in it.
Fountain is one of Duchamp’s most famous works and is widely seen as an icon of twentieth-century art. The original, which is now lost, consisted of a standard urinal, laid flat on its back rather than upright in its usual position, and signed ‘R. Mutt 1917’. The Tate’s work is a 1964 replica and is made from glazed earthenware painted to resemble the original porcelain. The signature is reproduced in black paint. Fountain is an example of what Duchamp called a ‘readymade’, an ordinary manufactured object designated by the artist as a work of art. It epitomises the assault on convention and good taste for which he and the Dada movement are best known.
The idea of designating such a lowly object as a work of art came from a discussion between Duchamp and his American friends the collector Walter Arensburg and the artist Joseph Stella. Following this conversation, Duchamp bought an urinal from a plumbers’ merchants, and submitted it to an exhibition organised by the Society of Independent Artists. The Board of Directors, who were bound by the constitution of the Society to accept all members’ submissions, took exception to the Fountain and refused to exhibit it. Duchamp and Arensburg, who were both on the Board, resigned immediately in protest. An article published at the time, which is thought to have been written by Duchamp, claimed, ‘Mr Mutt’s fountain is not immoral, that is absurd, no more than a bathtub is immoral. It is a fixture that you see every day in plumbers’ shop windows. Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary 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.’ (‘The Richard Mutt Case’, The Blind Man, New York, no.2, May 1917, p.5.)
Read more from which this original source is borrowed from below:
I do not remember the exact day that I fell in love with art, but I do remember the day that I knew I would spend the rest of my life dedicated to it. After struggling with the idea of pursuing a career in a field that no longer held my interest, in a moment of clarity I knew that studying art history would be what defined the rest of my academic career. I was enchanted by the colors on the canvas, the stories behind the concepts and the lifestyles of the artists. From that day forward, I have never looked back, not even for a second. I have dedicated the rest of my life to a continuous exploration of art and artists.
Art History is more than just knowing whom painted a piece and other identification needs. The beautiful part of it is getting to research…
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