blue gate marcel duchamp

Marcel’s Blue Gate

The idea and reasoning of Marcel Duchamp’s “readymade” art has intrigued me since I first learned about it in art school almost 30 years ago. And for the last several years, I’ve been fascinated by how much of what surrounds us – stuff that we mostly consider to be just utilitarian objects or tools, can actually offer me a level of lasting aesthetic pleasure.

Exhibit A: The design of the blue shophouse gate above provided me with an appealing pattern, the foreground and background layers offered interesting dimensionality and the chipped paint itself created an intriguing texture. It was like a beacon and I just could not resist spending some time figuring out how to photograph it.

The gate itself obviously has symbolic implications in the context of, say, protection or incarceration. But more importantly, for me anyway, is to hone in on the readymades that cross my path, define what make them so fascinating and then figure out a way to convey the composition that pulled me in to begin with.