Main Readymade
Original version, 1923
Original Version:

1923, New York
Collection Louise Hellstrom
altered "Wanted" poster
rectified readymade
49.5 x 35.5 cm

A two-dimensional Readymade, WANTED is the minority within the generally three-dimensional oeuvre of Readymades. Other two-dimensional Readymades include, among others, Pharmacy and Apolinere Enameled. Duchamp found this poster Readymade in a New York restaurant. He altered it with two photos of himself (one in profile and one full-face). On a linguistic level, he added the name "Rrose Selavy" at the end of the last line of type describing the WANTED man. This addition provides a bridge to the gender ideas prevalent in many of the Readymades. Rrose Selavy, standing at the center of it all, leads one to question the true identity of Duchamp.

The incorporation of photographs of Duchamp can also be seen in several other Readymades including Belle Haleine. In each Readymade, the artist plays the role of another. In WANTED, he may not be physically dressed as his alter ego, but his seeming mug shots suggest the identity of a criminal. One may even go so far as to suggest Duchamp as a thief of artwork, supposedly guilty of not creating his own art. Overall, this concept of duality in identity, of the ability of two sides of a coin to co-exist, is something that excited Duchamp on many levels.

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