Nude Descending Again

Hundley, Richard, 2002/01/01, 2019/05/31

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Rrose Sélavy
Figure 1
Marcel Duchamp, Rrose Sélavy,
photograph by Man Ray, 1921

Duchamp, the anti-artist, has always fascinated me to the point of envy. His irreverent behavior and ground-breaking ideas were so engaging that they force me to rethink my work and its purpose. His work is humorous to the passerby yet far more intelligent than any work of its time. The idea, rather than the product, was his focus. He was the greatest, laziest person ever.

Instead of creating a sculpture of a woman he became one (Rrose Sélavy). Instead of creating something that looked like a urinal he used an actual one. Instead of cleaning the dust off the glass he and Man Ray just took a photo of it.

I am a painter by training but I feel it takes too long to paint a good painting. So I began to experiment with my work by turning photography into painting. I feel as though I have found a new window of photography that has not been explored and treated as I have been doing. I have never seen results like that which I have been producing. I shoot in complete darkness with an open shutter and compose these paintings with light.

With this photograph, in particular, I wanted to recreate Duchamp’s famous yet “absurd” take off on Futurism and Cubism. This photograph and my work in general have received much of the same criticism that his painting did.

click images to enlarge

  • Nude Descending
  • Nude Descending Again
  • Figure 2
  • Figure 3
  • Marcel Duchamp,
    Nude Descending a Staircase,
    No. 2
    , 1912
  • William Richard Hundley,
    Nude Descending Again, 2001

This shot is one of 20 negatives attempting the Nude. I have plans to use all the images in one frame in the form of a lenticular (3-D) print. As the viewer walks across the frame the images shift from one to another.

I currently reside in Austin, TX and collaborate with a friend on more painting-based photographic work. Our recent body of work has taken influence from the paintings of Francis Bacon. We call ourselves the Industry of Light and our new body of work is titled “Innocent X.”

Please view it online at

William Richard Hundley Industry of Light

Figs. 1, 2
©2002 Succession Marcel Duchamp, ARS, N.Y./ADAGP, Paris. All rights reserved.