I believe that it is art. Duchamp was able to prove he had a message, he had an intention, an idea, and an audience. These are one of the most meaningful characteristics of an artwork. If all of them are present, why couldn’t it be considered art? Duchamp was a very well known artist who through his revolutionary ideas was able to change the world of art at that time. To begin with, he had an intention and a message to transmit. His purpose when thinking about using the urinal to do a piece of art, was to critique greed. He wanted to do it in order to affect pompous museum directors and speculative collectors. He wanted to question the notion of what constituted a work of art. Duchamp wanted to prove academics and critics wrong as he thought they weren’t the ones who could judge nor decided what could be or not considered as an artwork. The famous french artist wanted to revolutionise the world of art and think of the artist as the one who could decide what was an artwork or not. With all this, we can clearly see that Duchamp had an intention and a message; he had something that he wanted to share and transmit.
Moreover, he was able to also include a creative element. We can identify the Fountain as a creative work as Duchamp was able to obtain a clear message and meaning from an object as simple and meaningless as a urinal. I believe that this should be highlighted as it is an important aspect to analyse when thinking if it is art or not. Furthermore, though not at first, Duchamp was able to call people’s attention and gain a massive audience with the passing of time. Despite the fact that his artwork disappeared, a lot of people continued recreating The fountain and famous photographers have material of this artwork too. I consider that this has a lot of importance too, as it shows that the work had an impact on people which is something necessary when considering something art or not.
On the other hand, many people may not consider The fountain as art as it was not something entirely made by Duchamp. However, I think that he made very clear that he had not done it, that what he did was give that object a meaning. That is the main reason why instead of signing it “by Duchamp” he choose to put “from”. This shows also the fact that he was trying to change the perspective society had of art at that time. For all these, I consider The fountain as an artwork.