Thursday, September 3, 2015


Expensive art is one of the hardest things to understand for most people.  How does one decide to 

spend millions of dollars on a piece of painting or a sculpture?  I have never walked in a rich persons 

shoes and I can only speculate that art and social status are somehow connected in society today.  

Expensive art is something I will ever be able to understand.  Paying millions for a painting can be 

justified, but how do you justify paying almost two million for a piece of so called art that is a urinal?  
At what point does a urinal, that is massed produced, become art. 
(original piece)
This is the famous urinal that was sold for 1.7 million at Sotheby's in 1999.  We discussed this piece 

in my intro to music class; most of the student  chuckled at this piece and could not comprehend that this 

passed as something that was considers an art.  My teacher gave a short bio about the author of this 

piece; Duchamp needed to submit an art piece to an upcoming showcase so he casually went to a 

plumbing store and bought this piece.  Duchamp signed his name on it and submitted it.  He wasn't very 

popular in his time; but in December 2004, Duchamp's Fountain was voted the most influential artwork of 

the 20th century by 500 selected British art world professionals.  I cannot understand this piece; and 

never will and wont even try to.  That was a large amount of money that was paid for this piece and in 

my opinion the money spend on this urinal could have been spend in a more useful and effective way.  

There is no reason that anyone should spend 1.7 million dollars on a urinal that was purchased for an 

original price that was about maybe a dollar.  If this piece was purchased to show wealth then people 

who buy these things don't have much imagination.  Wealth can also be said to be similar to power; 

possessing expensive things is showing wealth.  Purchasing expensive art is showing wealth. Everything 

that we do is interconnected;  whether we realize it or not.  

(Piece that was sold in 1999)

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