Art history

How About A Cup of Tea?

Oppenheimer Cup

Who wants a cup of tea? I do! But not in this cup…

This cup is Marie Oppenheimer’s “Object“from 1936, and yes, it is, in fact, covered in fur. This is an interesting piece because of the concept behind it. As part of the Surrealist movement in Europe, and the influence of Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, this cup is one of multiple layers of meaning. But why a tea cup? Simple; its an object we encounter every day. By taking an object we see everyday such as a teacup, and turning it into a piece of art, the artist is already making the viewer think “What is art?” “What qualifies as art?” Okay, so layer one of questioning art is now out of the way, but what about the other layers? Patience young grasshopper; I will explain. Now we tackle the shapes of the object and the fur. Now, this is a family site so I will keep as PG-13 as possible, but also to do proper analysis… We will see. Anyways, back to the cup. One of the theories of why the cup is covered in fur is because it’s round, and when someone sips from the cup, he or she touches it with his or her mouth. But what else is hairy and curved that you can put your mouth to? Well, if you think about it, a woman’s unmentionable area is. Now lets apply that to the spoon. Yep! you guessed correctly! A man’s unmentionables. Phew! now that the elephant is out of the room, we can continue! Now for the actual fur. What do you think it would feel like if your lips tried to take a sip from the tea cup? unpleasant, right? Bingo! The fur is there to disturb the status quo of tea cups. Not only would it feel like your kissing Tom Selleck’s mustache directly, but imagine all the loose hairs in your tea that you would be drinking?! No thank you!

Wow, after all that I am still craving a cuppa tea, so I will grab that and see you all on Friday!

Cheers!!

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