Upcycling and Mr. Mutt

I really enjoy finding a new purpose for something that would otherwise have gone into the trash and saving it from landfill. In my art I try to reuse, recycle and upcycle materials where I can. Although upcycling seems to be the current trend in art, fashion and design today, it has been around since the 1900’s and is not a new concept.

In 1917 Marcel Duchamp turned a urinal upside down, scrawled the letters “R. Mutt” on one side, and titled it “Fountain” 

Mr. Mutt pissed on the notion of art.

He collected daily whatever pleased him, bicycle wheels, umbrellas, bottle racks, snow shovels. He described these objects as”ordinary articles chosen and placed so that their useful significance disappears under the new title and point of view.”

When I stumbled ( I nearly tripped into it) across one of Duchamp’s urinals for the first time in Paris, I laughed at his genius. He took an ordinary object and placed it so its useful significance disappeared under a new title giving it a new and different perspective.

No wonder,today Duchamp’s Fountain has been voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century by 500 selected British art world professionals.

 

 

 

© 2012, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

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