It seems that I keep crossing paths with the avant garde artist Marcel Duchamp. Well, not crossing paths really, since he died in 1968. I guess you could say I keep stumbling over him, but that wouldn't be accurate either, as I'm sure he received a decent burial, and even if he didn't, there wouldn't be much left to stumble over now. But his name comes up occasionally when I am reading about other subjects. Most recently this occurred while I was reading an article in Smithsonian Magazine by Owen Edwards titled, "Sign of the Times: Bob Dylan." The article discusses the iconic poster created by Milton Glaser in 1966 which was included in Bob Dylan's first greatest hits album.
It turns out that Glaser took inspiration from a self-portrait created by Marcel Duchamp in 1957.
In the process of looking for a copy of Duchamp's work, I happened upon a double-exposure portrait of the artist made by Victor Obsatz in 1959.
Obsatz could not claim the multiple-exposure portrait as an original idea, as evidenced by a self-portrait made by the Italian futurist photographer and film maker, Anton Bragaglia, in 1913.
And so now, alas, I cannot claim that the multiple-exposure self-portrait I first inflicted on the world on August 24, 2009 was an original idea. I was at the time totally ignorant of the earlier efforts of Obsatz and Bragaglia, but that's no excuse.
Likewise, the self-portrait below, released on an unsuspecting public on January 3, 2010, isn't nearly as clever and original as I thought it was at the time.
Witness the photo below, "Photodynamic Portrait of a Woman,"circa 1924, by Anton Bragaglia's brother Arturo.
Once again the wisdom of Ecclesiastes rings true: "There is no new thing under the sun."