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There are some who look all right, but smoke. (A cigarette is added).
Marcel Duchamp added a moustache and goatee on the Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Replica from 1940?

The bearded Mona Lisa is Duchamp's most famous ready-made. The object has been adorned with a comical moustache and goatee, and below is written "L.H.O.O.Q." - the title of the work, which is essentially one more phonetic game by Duchamp, quite as "R. Mutt" also showed itself to be (above).

Duchamp himself noted in a 1966 interview, "I really like this kind of game . . . By simply reading the letters in French, even in any language, some astonishing things happen." When read quickly in French, the title L.H.O.O.Q. sounds like a sentence translating to "She has a hot bum/ass." This is the most commonly sited meaning of the phrase - and one of several. Duchamp gave a "loose" translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as "there is fire down below" in a late interview. And when spoken in English, L.H.O.O.Q. sounds like "LOOK".

The take involved a grotesque de-dignifying of a formerly awing painting.

Some Fountain of Inspiration

Urinal. Marcel Duchamp
Fountain by Marc Duchamp, 1917.

Marcel Duchamp once chose a urinal, presented it as art, calling it "Fountain", and signed the thing "R. Mutt". What he did just to provoke, has become a major landmark in the art of the 1900s. As it has been said, "He CHOSE it. He took an 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." [Gayford, Martin. "The practical joke that launched an artistic revolution", The Daily Telegraph (Review), 2008-02-16, p. 10 at 11]

With this single work, Duchamp invented conceptual art.

In December 2004, Duchamp's Fountain was voted the most influential artwork of the 1900s by 500 selected British artworld professionals.


From Phillies to Yummy's Donuts

Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Nighthawks. 1942.

The most well known of Edward Hopper's paintings, Nighthawks (1942), shows customers sitting at the counter of an all-night diner.

Gottfried Helnwein
Gottfried Helnwein (1948-). Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Generally, "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams" refers to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. This painting, a spoof of the famous Hopper painting above, is called Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and features Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, and Elvis Presley.

Matt Groenig's take.

Matt Groenig (1954-) is an American cartoonist and liberal, best known as the creator of The Simpsons, the longest running animated series in TV history. Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the series has broadcast 618 episodes so far, in its 28th season (2017).

The Scream

Edvard Munch. The Scream.

There is a page devoted to Edvard Much and Screams on-site.

Simpson Giant Poster


Art Travesty Explained

The word art has many meanings. Art is also something presented with the intent to be art. There are many forms of arts, many outlets of creativity. A product of art is something presented or produced as an artistic effort or for decorative purposes. It may be a result of outbursts.

Visual art is considered to express some measure of skill and imagination. Art involves the conscious use of skill and creative imagination. What is called fine arts - painting, sculpture, or music - is mainly concerned with creating beautiful objects - making striking statements, and further.

Art sometimes requires a fine skill. Decorative elements may or may not be involved.

Art at times implies a personal, unanalysable creative power that manifests.

Craft, by comparison, may focus on expertness in workmanship, which is more technical than pure art is supposed to be.

A seminal moment in this discussion occurred in 1917, when Dada artist Marcel Duchamp submitted a porcelain urinal entitled Fountain to a public exhibition in New York City. Through this act, Duchamp put forth a new definition of what constitutes a work of art: he implied that it is enough for an artist to deem something "art" and put it in a publicly accepted venue. Implicit within this gesture was a challenge to the established art institutions. [Ebu, sv "art"]

In our days several new media - including video art - challenge traditional definitions of art.

A travesty can be a parody where the style of a work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule. The imitation may be burlesque or grotesque, and incongruous or distorted in style, treatment, or subject matter.

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