Friday, January 06, 2006

War of the artists

I've always been wary of certain types of artists...a fact that has led to some entertaining discussions with a my sister-in-law (a graphic arts major) on the merits of Fine Arts degrees. Anyway, this article demonstrates beautifully some of my worries:

A 76-year-old performance artist was arrested after attacking Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" _ a porcelain urinal _ with a hammer, police said.

Duchamp's 1917 piece _ an ordinary white, porcelain urinal that's been called one of the most influential works of modern art _ was slightly chipped in the attack at the Pompidou Center in Paris, the museum said Thursday. It was removed from the exhibit for repair.

The suspect, a Provence resident whose identity was not released, already vandalized the work in 1993 _ urinating into the piece when it was on display in Nimes, in southern France, police said.

During questioning, the man claimed his hammer attack on Wednesday was a work of performance art that might have pleased Dada artists. The early 20th-century avant-garde movement was the focus of the exhibit that ends Monday, police said.

A 2004 poll of 500 arts figures ranked "Fountain" as the most influential work of modern art _ ahead of Pablo Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," Andy Warhol's screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and "Guernica," Picasso's depiction of war's devastation.

"Fountain" is estimated at $3.6 million. a urinal is valued at 3.6 million and some dude tries to break it. There's lots of things I'd call it...none of them have art anywhere in the title. Stupid, ranks pretty high, though.


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