“Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp
In my role as your teacher, mentor, and deity, I have been remiss in discussing conceptual art. That is because I didn’t understand or appreciate it. However, I have spent the last ten days immersed in this complex subject at the prestigious (and expensive!) Guangxi Arts Institute in Nanning. I have emerged as a conceptual art “expert” and this week I will boil down my 160 hours of intensive study into five simple paragraphs and make you smart (like me). We start here with Duchamp’s seminal 1917 work, “Fountain.” Neither a painting nor a sculpture, and demonstrating no artistic ability whatsoever, this piece is the triumph of concept over content and is the starting point for our study. Concept: urinals are a great place to pee. (for men, mostly).