Thrift Store Finds: Readymade Art

9 Apr

Sometimes while thrift store shopping or digging through garbage I find objects that are so beautiful and perfect that I believe they have achieved readymade art status.  For those who are not familiar with the term, according to the internet readymade art is defined as “an everyday object selected and designated as art”, a name that was coined by the French artist Marcel Duchamp.  The  notion of the art object as unique is destroyed in the act of declaring a mass produced commercial object as “art”.  And so, with that in mind, I present to you, dear reader, a selection of two recently found readymade art objects.

The first is a white ceramic piece, obviously the bottom half of a female figure.  I feel it is no mere coincidence that it shares it’s materiality with Duchamp’s famous “Fountain” urinal piece from 1917.  But, instead of having to perform the difficult labour of transformation Duchamp undertook in having to upend the urinal before declaring it art, (see wikipedia) I was spared this drudgery, as  someone else had already removed (i.e. stole) the top half of the figure by the time I got to it, leaving just the small but important step  of declaring the item “art” left to finish, which, I managed to find time to do.

To solidify it’s existence as a work of art, I shall give it this pretentious art title: Untitled (apparatus 3):

Untitled (apparatus 3), 2012
Approx 4"
readymade art object

 

 

The second readymade, or found art object I found was this fantastic set of lego-like blocks, each printed with a small image and some Chinese writing.  I loved the simple pop art line drawings and the colours, and it was convenient that it came in it’s own readymade frame; a plastic envelope that opened with snaps at the back!

Front of blocks set

Back of blocks set

 

Here are a few close-ups of my favorite blocks.  Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what the writing says!

The fish on the white block totally looks like it’s about to give a lecture, or make an announcement or something.  Actually, it seems kind of pissed, like it’s standing there with it’s hand on it’s hip about to totally deny some guy fish trying to pick it up in a bar. Am I right?  Come on ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

I have hung this plastic piece of goodness in a special place on my wall.  It is definitely a work of art, wouldn’t you agree?

Both of these objects d’art were found at Value Village, in Mississauga.

Value Village 3130 Dixie Rd. Mississauga, Ontario

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2 Responses to “Thrift Store Finds: Readymade Art”

  1. Chris April 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Love the Chinese block game! I love the colors, the pictures, and of course the Kanji writing. Very awesome find! I’ve never seen anything like that before.. Do you know if it has a name or something? Very interested to know..

  2. melody February 5, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    The symbols are the alphabet of sounds, taught to children or beginners learning Chinese. You’ll notice in some of the close-up images, where the characters are, next to them are tiny versions of the black symbols. These help you sound the character out, and eventually you do not rely on them as you practice recognizing the writing itself. The check marks, or upwards/downwards slashes are indicators of tone.

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