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« Eddie Borgo | Main | Tabitha Simmons »

Marcel Duchamp

"Generate ideas, no matter how wild or far-fetched, and enable new associations to be made in the gray matter of your brain." This is how Marcel Duchamp, one of Giovanna Battaglia's favorite artists, viewed art and life. The French artist for whom Gio has a soft spot often perceived real life objects as art, for example in his depiction of a urinal named "Fountain," one of the most familiar of his ready-mades.

A unique sense of humor you say? Does Marcel Duchamp see something that everyone else is missing? Is he being an optimist? The answer may be all of the above. Perhaps this is why Duchamp is a favorite of Giovanna. Perhaps he is right in his perceptions, too.

Marcel Duchamp was a playful man who believed in leaving convention at home. Born in 1887, Duchamp's work and ideas influenced the development of post World War II Western art. He is often associated with Surrealism and the Dada movement, a primarily visual arts, literature, poetry and theatre whose purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. While Dada was anti-war, it was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist. Duchamp’s participation in Surrealism was largely behind the scenes. He produced relatively few pieces of art, as he quickly moved through the avant-garde rhythms of his time. In the end, it was his perspective that was to be looked upon as a mystery. Thousands of books and articles attempt to make sense of Duchamp's artwork and philosophy, but his interviews and his writings only added to the ambiguity. He found the interpretations made of him amusing, mere reflections of the interpreter.

There is a human need to try to make sense of art, to put it into an already existing category or box. To be free, evolved, secure within yourself, and open to possibility takes courage and allows you to grow. Duchamp takes us on a journey to be free enough to embrace the chaos and see it through a different eye and lifts us out of our comfort zone, bringing us back to reality with humor and maybe a new sense of enlightenment for the future. Perhaps Giovanna looks at life from Duchamp's vantage point... She loves to laugh and have fun, and while she seemingly takes her style seriously, she is free to move about mixing textures, patterns, and styles, remaining open to the possibility of ideas and looks that may not be thought of at first blush. Yet somehow Gio always comes across as chic and effortless as we all know only very few can achieve.

For a further taste of Duchamp's wit and intellect, watch the brief video "Why Not Sneeze?" or his interview with the BBC in 1966, his presence is enchanting.

Marcel Duchamp photographs courtesy of,,,, and

Reader Comments (9)

thank you for sharing all this wonderful information, kellina!!! i am always learning something new from that giovanna loves duchamp. he was so ahead of his time..that urinal will always be so cool to me...such a simple concept, yet so daring!
1 settembre 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdara
Ohhh I love Marcel Duchamp! I want learn more about him.. thanks Kellina!
During my holiday I read "Naked appearance" by Octavio Paz. The book speak about works of Marcel Duchamp. Very interesting. I advise it!
1 settembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca
Thank you so much for your kind comments, Dara! I am delighted to hear that you liked this one.
1 settembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
Francesca, you read the most fascinating books! Did you read this in Italian or in English? I will definitely add it to the giant list of books I must find time to read, thanks a lot for your recommendation.
1 settembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
In Italian! It is not long.. about 130 sheets!
1 settembre 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca
Fantastico! Grazie ancora.
1 settembre 2011 | Registered Commenterkellina
A truly inspiring man with an outstanding mind. We could all learn something from him. He is truly inspirational.
7 aprile 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdana
An amazing man, with an outstanding vision on the world. His interviews are eye openers.
15 aprile 2014 | Unregistered Commentervictor
great photos. They really catch the spirit of this man and give you a sense of what he was about.
22 aprile 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlaurentiu

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