Mustache Wax

I received the ultimate compliment regarding this piece, my homage to artist Marcel Duchamp.

"If You See Kay" Marcel Duchamp Portrait by Matt Pecson, Oil on Mona Lisa Giclee, 18x24

"If You See Kay" Marcel Duchamp Portrait by Matt Pecson, Oil on Mona Lisa Giclee, 18x24

Duchamp's LHOOQ, shown below, is one of his most famous works. It is an everyday postcard from the time, of the Mona Lisa, on which he added a mustache. The title is word play. When spoken aloud it sounds like "Elle a chaud au cul", which loosely translates to English as "She has a hot ass." This piece by Duchamp is a milestone in post modern aesthetics.

The work is one of what Duchamp referred to as "readymades", or more specifically an assisted ready-made. The readymade involves taking mundane, often utilitarian objects not generally considered to be art and transforming them, by adding to them, changing them, or (as in the case of his most famous work "Fountain") simply renaming them and placing them in a gallery setting. (source Wikipedia)

"L.H.O.O.Q." by Marcel Duchamp, 1919

"L.H.O.O.Q." by Marcel Duchamp, 1919

My painting, titled "If You See Kay", is a portrait painting of Duchamp over a print of the Mona Lisa, where his eyebrow serves as her mustache. It is an homage on as many levels as I could. The most difficult part was perhaps coming up with a title that works on both the sacred and profane level in keeping with the original theme of LHOOQ.

I learned the intricacies of Duchamp's work while studying fine art at Mount Saint Mary's College under professor Terrance Wright. We covered Duchamp in philosophy of art.

I wrote Dr. Wright a few months back thanking him for the impact of his classes on my work, and sent him a photo of "If You See Kay". Here is part of his reply:

"I remember the Philosophy of Art class you were in very well. The art students in that class were particularly good and generous. I am very honored that something you learned from me impacted your art."...

"I don’t get to teach that course very often now but I do get to touch on some of the themes in a course I teach in contemporary philosophy. In fact yesterday I was covering post-modern theory and was using Duchamp as one of my examples, passing around my old postcard of "LHOOQ" and "Fountain." I also printed out and used your “If You See Kay” as a further postmodern twist. The students found it very interesting. So you will now be part of my lecture for years to come. Thanks for sending it to me."

This really made my day. Thank you Dr. Wright! (I am sending him the original).

 

For more information about Matt Pecson's work:

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