Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors

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Marcel Duchamp, Bride Stripped Bare by her Suitors, 1915
By ANIRUDH VADLAMANI

In my very first Art History blog post, the young, naive Anirudh Vadlamani decided to write about Marcel Duchamp's Bride, an intricate piece (I referenced it as a curious debacle I would never truly understand), which captivated my curiosity. I appropriately called myself an Art History noob, only hoping that this class I took almost solely because my sister had such great success in it, would incite some small bit of culture in me. I was captivated, and I feel almost a year and a half later, I would write about the other Duchamp painting I referenced in my first blog post. This is the Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors. 

This painting is referenced as Duchamp's Large Glass Pane by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and depicts the "erotic" encounter between the bride and the men in the first pane, and in the second pane, in "excruciating detail," outline the men, fearlessly gathered around the woman, dominating her, dress flown across the edge of the bottom. The men, are depicted in a heavier brown town compared to the lady, who sits in a washed beige. However, the men sit rigid in their motion, prompting critics to refer to them as the "Bachelor Machine." 

Critics have further referred to the men as the "Love Machine" (Oh My!); however, this is far from the truth. In fact, this is more of a machine of suffering. The bride hangs from a rope, in her own isolated cage, hanging in her misery while all of the bachelors sit, sexually frustrated in agonizing abstinence. While they long to be with the bride, her cold separation from them sets them up into a confused sadness.

Duchamp's industrialist style of construction allows the seasoned Art Historian and the "noob" Art Historian alike to draw their own conclusions based on what they personally see. The best part of the Bride series  is how open they are to be mentally picked apart by the viewer. While naive Art History student me wasn't completely wrong about the "innocent beauty" of the bride, it seems almost certain, years later, that the bride is anything but. This makes me proud to be a student in this class for two years. While the obvious switch from Renaissance to Modern art was an obvious influence on my ideas now, over the last year or so, my knowledge has greatly expanded. While I'm reaching the end of my tenure in this class, I am proud to have come this far. In the future, who knows, maybe ill critique this piece with another piece, possessing even more knowledge of art. 

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