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Marcel Duchamp, the critical dreamer

Posted January. 04, 2019 07:30,   

Updated January. 04, 2019 07:30

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Marcel Duchamp overturned the world of art in the early 20th century by using "readymade" objects such as a urinal for his well-known work titled “Fountain.” The French-American iconic artist is known as the pioneer of modern art, bringing down the barriers between everyday life and art. It is impossible to imagine conceptual art without Duchamp. He is likened to Plato of Western Philosophy for modern art. Duchamp combined art and machinery, used a female pen name called “Rrose Sélavy” and ceaselessly promoted innovation. His handwriting is as unique as his achievements.

The hook-like shape of the letter "b" suggests imagination, while the small curving of the letter "h" implies that the writer must be a dreamer. He shows acceptance towards anything new. His abilities for imagination and critical thinking are exceptional. His fast writing suggests intelligence; while the angles in "w" hint that he is an analytic thinker and favors reason over emotions. The sharp upper edges of the letter "s" suggest that he might have been a vituperator. Duchamp attended prestigious schools and won first place in math competitions. The long vertical line of the letter "k," as well as tightly closed "b" implies that he is an adventurous entrepreneur and keen in business.

The long horizontal line of "t" shows strong patience and determination, while the last stroke of the letter "M," which stretches down rather long, shows stubbornness. “An artist should be ready to wait 50 or even 100 years for a true audience. They are my only interest,” said Duchamp. The square shaped "r" shows that he is capable dealing with machinery. He applied mechanical experiments in the field of technology, geometry and physics and aspired to combine art and technology. The open ends of "D" and "R" suggest that he enjoyed talking. “I always tried to deny myself so that I could keep my tastes changing,” the revolutionary artist said. This was how Duchamp the innovator lived.


Won-Joo Lee takeoff@donga.com