Modern Art - Sometimes a Urinal is Just a Urinal...

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Sometimes a Urinal is Just a Urinal Exploration of Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” Modern art has made a mockery of the “art world.” The purpose of art is to evoke emotion from people. The emotion doesn’t have to be the same among everyone but it should be similar. Someone should be able to walk into a room with a painting, having never seen or heard of it before, and feel something about the piece. This feeling should be shared with other viewers. This is similar to Tolstoy’s view that the viewer of art enters into a relationship with the artist and other viewers. The artists should be able to express a common feeling or emotion in his work. In Marcel Duchamp’s piece, “Fountain,” there is no common for anyone. Duchamp simply ripped a common urinal out of a bathroom and signed it. The problem with this type of modern art is that the explanation becomes more important than the piece. Artists are becoming less skilled in their respective art forms and more skilled at rhetoric. When an artist doesn’t even bother to make an explanation is far worse. Duchamp’s piece was intended to be a prank, and it was received as that by the people running the exhibition. ( ) It wasn’t until after the exhibition someone decided that it was an important piece of art. It is questionable that a piece of art can be considered important when the artist himself thinks is a joke.
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The more distant and withdrawn that an artist appears, the deeper he is considered to be. We, as a society have become so caught up in the eccentric, starving artist ideal, that we have forgotten what art really is. We have also given the “art world” too much power in defining art. It appears that these chosen members of the art world have the power to say what is art and what is just bathroom fixtures. This is where the main issue arises when it comes to this type of art. The bathroom fixture that is art is only art to the person who made it and cannot be deciphered by common people. A person walking into that gallery with no prior knowledge of the piece could not
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Modern Art - Sometimes a Urinal is Just a Urinal...

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