Bicycle Wheel

by Old Bone Machine

This is not a bicycle. This is not a wooden stool.

This is a readymade by the French artist Marcel Duchamp. A readymade being a standard and quite ordinary manufactured object that the artist selects to display as art. Taking the object from the hardware store into the gallery transforms it.

The ordinary object becomes art.

(Marcel Duchamp & Bicycle Wheel, photo credit: Getty)

The original Bicycle Wheel made in 1913 was lost. Duchamp though remade the readymade Bicycle Wheel in 1951.

I enjoyed looking at it. Just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in the fireplace.

Duchamp claimed that he selected a readymade object in an unbiased and almost random manner. The image below showing a young Duchamp riding a bicycle makes me believe this to be untrue.

(photo credit: © 2000 Succession Marcel Duchamp ARS, N.Y./ADAGP, Paris.)

Bicycle Wheel has inspired some playful responses including the following work titled Complete by the artist/designer Sebastian Errazuriz. Note the straight forks in both the original and the response.