From our research, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was the biggest inside jokester ever. In 1914, Duchamp invented "ready-made" art, taking common objects away from their usual contexts and then claiming them as his own "work" with the purpose of ridiculing the concept of art.
The work called "Fountain" is a men's urinal turned so that the surface mounted on the wall becomes its base. To his credit, Duchamp did make some alterations to these objects. In addition to turning the urinal, Duchamp painted "R. Mutt 1917" along one side, which is believed to be a Duchamp's pseudonym composed out of an association with the Mutt and Jeff cartoons. Apparently there was no actual R. Mutt.
But who are we to argue. Keep in mind that the original of this piece was created in 1917; in his later years, Duchamp produced essentially reproductions of the original. The work that sold in May was done in 1964. Before the auction, the urinal was expected to attract bids between $1.5 million and $2.5 million.
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