Marcel Duchamp is said to have practically invented conceptual art with his entry of a urinal as a sculpture titled Fountain into an art show in 1917. I wonder if the painters of the restrooms in Chimney Rock State Park knew they were in a sense following in Duchamp’s footsteps?
Duchamp’s original Fountain sculpture was destroyed, but he eventually authorized a limited number of reproductions, one of which I saw at the Tate Modern museum in London some years back. I was not impressed, but then it’s my understanding that with conceptual art you aren’t supposed to be impressed so much by the physical art itself but the ideas behind it. Or something like that.
For my money, Duchamp’s best work was his cubist painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, which I’d have to say is on my top ten list of all-time favorite paintings. Interestingly, Duchamp’s painting was influenced by the early stop motion photography of Eadweard Muybridge, in particular an image titled Woman Walking Downstairs.