Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q. is an altered postcard reproduction of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. For this assisted readymade, he pencilled a goatee and moustache over the Mona Lisa’s chin and upper lip and retitled the work. The French pronunciation of the letters can be read as ‘Elle a chaud au cul’ which translates as ‘She has a hot ass.’ In L.H.O.O.Q. Duchamp starts with the representation of an iconic masterpiece that he takes off its pedestal by playfully debunking it. Endowing the Mona Lisa with masculine attributes he alludes to Da Vinci’s homosexuality and gestures at the androgynous nature of creativity.
Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Conceptual Art, Kinetic Art
Born: 28 July 1887, Normandy, France
Died: 2 October 1968, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
By challenging the notion of what is art with his readymades, Duchamp is one of few artists that changed the course of art history. He sent shock waves across the art world that are still rippling today.