Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 by Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912). Oil on canvas. 57 7/8" x 35 1/8". Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp’s output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art. He advised modern art collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim and other prominent figures, thereby helping to shape the tastes of Western art during this period.

Duchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions such as dubbing a urinal art and naming it Fountain. He produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.

The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.

Duchamp’s first work to provoke significant controversy was Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (Nu descendant un escalier n° 2) (1912). The painting depicts the mechanistic motion of a nude, with superimposed facets, similar to motion pictures. It shows elements of both the fragmentation and synthesis of the Cubists, and the movement and dynamism of the Futurists.

He first submitted the piece to appear at the Cubist Salon des Indépendants, but jurist Albert Gleizes asked Duchamp’s brothers to have him voluntarily withdraw the painting, or to paint over the title that he had painted on the work and rename it something else. Duchamp’s brothers did approach him with Gleizes’ request, but Duchamp quietly refused. Of the incident Duchamp later recalled, “I said nothing to my brothers. But I went immediately to the show and took my painting home in a taxi. It was really a turning point in my life, I can assure you. I saw that I would not be very much interested in groups after that.”

He later submitted the painting to the 1913 “Armory Show” in New York City. The exhibition was officially named the International Exhibition of Modern Art, displayed works of American artists, and was also the first major exhibition of modern trends coming out of Paris. American show-goers, accustomed to realistic art, were scandalized, and the Nude was at the center of much of the controversy.

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Seven: Standing Still

Standing Still

Rainbows over the place she once stood,
Now deserted, empty, lost,
Grasping, holding, leaving, this place,
The space glowed white, a terrible lie,
Empty lost, the shadows from the forest of the soul,
Take over, man’s triumph over her,
Mother Earth, from her womb I once cried,
Return inside one more time,
The space glowed white, a terrible lie,
I never thought I would die,
Engulfed by her, I couldn’t try,
I felt the world, tumbling down,
All was lost, but then I found,
A small colorful glow came from her,
I began to cry, Her heart was true,
She stood there silently, awaiting my embrace,
It was time to go, but I couldn’t leave,
I saw her there, standing still.
Artwork & Poetry: Frank Cunha III  | More Poetry

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Six: White Space, Female Nude

White Space, Female Nude

I stood as if off in the distance
Memory sharp but blurred by grief
I recall the time, the time when
The girl in my memory had been mine

But so hard it had been to let go of her heart
Hard to lose, never considering we’d part
We had traveled down through the years
Never thinking the journey would end in tears

Still I have warm memories
The memory her smile
The memory of her curved breast
A time the girl had been mine.

I remember her moist lips firm against mine
Her crystal laughter framed against time
Time…the harsh winds of time struck
Bodies fall to the winds of time

Now the girl is gone forever
I’m still happy she’d once been mine


Artwork: Frank Cunha III | Poetry: Carl Watts | More Poetry

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Three: Waiting for the Rain

Waiting for the Rain

It was a cold November day in New Jersey
Ana Belle was waiting on the rain
Not a cloud in the sky
Had she been in California,
no one would have blinked an eye.

But New Jersey,
What was she thinking
Waiting on the rain
Clearly visible against blue sky
The crowd begins to form

Excitement was growing
They thought she was going,
That she was going to die
But with a blink of the eye
She gave a pretty wave

Her smile lit up the sky
Even far below, all could see
The lady just enjoyed being free
And Free she was for all to see
A charming sight to break the calm

For Ana Belle, it was just another day
A day of freedom against an open sky
Waiting for the rain on a perfectly clear day
Asked about it, she replied “What can I say?
I’m as free as I can create.” It started to rain.


Artwork: Frank Cunha III | Poetry: Carl Watts 
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Waiting for the Rain

Coke Art vs Crosses to Bear

Coke Art

Crosses to Bear

Artwork of the Day

Female Figure (Drawn: 9/14/2010 Atlantic City NJ)
by: Frank Cunha III

Photo of the Day

“Along Came a Spider”
Photographed on 10/3/2010
by: Frank Cunha III