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Duchamp and the Readymade McNugget

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Forget that $250 million Cezanne. The art world’s new pricing mystery is the Readymade McNugget.

On February 20, Rebekah Speights of Dakota City, Neb., offered a three-year-old McDonald’s Chicken McNugget, alleged to resemble the profile of George Washington, on eBay. The starting bid was $100. Buyer offers went up to at least as high as $356. The link is now broken. Maybe some wealthy potentate made a pre-emptive bid?

The deep-fried morsel looks less like Washington per se than like Marcel Duchamp’s 1943 portrait of the Founding Father, Allégorie de genre, created for Vogue magazine and never published (above right).

Explained Duchamp:

I made a George Washington in the geographical shape of the United States. In place of his face, I put the American flag. It seems that my red stripes looked like dripping blood, and Vogue lost their minds. They thought it would cause a scandal. So they refused my project. They sent me forty dollars for my trouble and it never appeared. André Breton bought it for three hundred dollars.

You got it: an original and unique Duchamp construction, created a generation after Fountain and The Large Glass, sold for less than a Chicken McNugget apparently did, just now. Okay, $300 went further in the 1940s but consider:  The nugget was part of a 99 Cent McNugget Tuesday deal.

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  1. The nugget is a better deal, at lest you get to eat it.
    Though I am not sure it is food, no more than Duchamps is art.

  2. And that is because you are a philistine. If Duchamp hadnt put the urinal into an exhibition, modern art wouldn’t be where it is today. We would still be making water colour landscapes. You hear about people finding loads of food that looks like ex presidents or Jesus but most of these sightings are from the one country where a large percentage of the population have insurance against UFO abduction

  3. Transparency2012
    Marcel Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase No 2(1912),

  4. Americans are so stuck in a past that never existed. Duchamps nude was his last work copying the styles of others, he was quite intelligent if soulless. He was always bored, by the rich as well and constantly enjoyed fooling them and taking their money. Life was a game to him. And so, no artist.

    Contempt “art” is irrelevant, no one cares except thsoe trained through Pavlovian means to respond toe teh bells and whisltes of psychobabble and pseudo literacisms. Prosaicly taking one tiny slice of Cezannes apple in the arly 60s, too lame to understand and feel it all, simply being academics. Illustrators showing one disconnected aspect of art at a time, it became totally games, toys and decorations for the idle nouveau riche by the late 60s.

    No one cares. 99.9% of humanity, shrugs its shoulders, and says’It’s art” Not meaning they dont understand it, but that is foolishness for spoiled children to entertain their masters. Narcissists absurdly making fools of themselves to entertain the nouveau riche. Who are bored with life, and detaches, sociopaths. Like broad and Gagosian and the master markets, Saatchi’s.

    It aint art. It was never meant to be art. It is a purse puppy to real creative arts Guard Dogg. We have fangs, muscles, claws, virile and bite. You are soft and cuddly and tame, neutered, useless.
    You really believe a piece of paper makes you an artist? LMAO!

    And so it is.
    art collegia delenda est
    Fine(over refined) art academies must be destroyed.

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