Miami, FL (PRWEB) November 14, 2012
AffordableArt101 Fine Prints announced the acquisition of a rare lithograph by French artist Marcel Duchamp. Printed in 1938 and issued in Paris by the deluxe art revue "XXe Siecle", the piece is called "Monte Carlo Bond" and is also known as "Obligation Monte Carlo". Measuring 12 1/2 x 9 inches, the lithograph shows the infamous portrait of Duchamp taken by photographer Man Ray, superimposed onto a roulette wheel, with a casino gaming table in the background.
Art dealer Roger Walton of AffordableArt101 Fine Prints, owner of the online art gallery selling the print, says "There is something about this piece that always makes people a little bit crazy! It's a great conversation piece. Collectors get excited about it."
"I think the portrait is the reason for this," continues Walton, "the way Duchamp stares right at you. Slightly ridiculous and a little sinister at the same time, it captures the viewer's attention. This was the photo by the legendary photographer and artist Man Ray, who was also Duchamp's friend."
The portrait, indeed, has sparked much interest and commentary over the years. The substance on Duchamp's head has been variously described as shaving cream, or soapsuds, molded into the shape of either a rooster's comb, or a satyr's horns, or perhaps an even darker creature.
The history of the piece is fascinating: in 1924 Marcel Duchamp hatched a scheme to "break the bank" in the casinos of Monte Carlo by using a system for betting on roulette, with investors to be offered shares in the enterprise. Duchamp set up a joint stock company with plans to raise 15,000 francs for the venture, and planned to issue bonds to investors. The original issue called for 30 bonds, but far fewer were ever produced. The bonds themselves (in their first incarnation) were mixed media collages mounted onto cardboard. Thus was born Marcel Duchamp's "Obligation Monte Carlo". Almost none survive; one specimen resides at MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art in New York) and another was auctioned at Christie's for $1,082,500 in 2010, realizing long after the artist's death the large gains he never achieved from the project during his lifetime.
The second incarnation of this work is as a lithographic recreation, executed by Duchamp in 1938 and published the same year by the Parisian art revue XXe Siecle. Approximately 1200 copies (or "impressions", as print collectors prefer to say) were printed. A lithograph is a type of print, and because of Duchamp's creative involvement in the process, this is considered to be an original work of art, even though multiple impressions were printed.
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was a French artist who had enormous influence on Modern Art, being influential in the development of Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism and Dada art. Among his best known works are the painting "Nude Descending a Staircase" and "Fountain", a sculpture of a urinal that was one of his famous "Readymades". "Monte Carlo Bond" is also a Readymade.
Walton makes a further point on this theme, saying "This Marcel Duchamp lithograph marries art with commerce, as Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst would later do. I think you could consider Duchamp the first Pop Artist."
AffordableArt101.com is part of a growing trend of online galleries offering art for sale exclusively on the internet, giving stiff competition to traditional "bricks-and-mortar" galleries. According to Walton, "With lower overhead costs, we can offer the same pieces as other art dealers, but at much lower prices." The online gallery features many styles and genres of original art prints, including Cubism, Surrealism, Dada and Pop Art prints. "It's been a great season for new acquisitions," says Walton, "we have some incredible Picasso, Chagall, Matisse and Miro prints for sale. You can find us online at http://www.affordableart101.com."