8 Bizarre Art Objects That Shocked You the Most

8 Bizarre Art Objects That Shocked You the Most

Shocking. That’s the word that pops up in the viewer’s head once they look at an art object like Marc Quinn’s ‘Self’ or Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Comedian.’ Regardless of the reason you’ve decided to familiarize yourself with shocking art, prepare yourself. In the article, we’ve collected the most shocking artworks ever produced in terms of form and meaning.

Why Look at Bizarre Art Objects?

Art is a universal language. If you’ve always considered yourself a non-artistic person, you were wrong all the time. Most objects speak themes everyone is familiar with, yet no need for special preparation.

8 Bizarre Art Objects That Shocked You the Most

Other reasons to visit a gallery:

  • Shocking art challenges the way you see the world and ordinary things;
  • Art improves your critical thinking;
  • Art can also have a therapeutic effect. Yes, some art objects make you cry yet recharge your emotional batteries;
  • Adding gallery visits will certainly boost your creativity.

#1: Marc Quinn’s ‘Self’

The artist who has taken the art of blood donation (pun intended) to a new level. In 1991, Quinn started a project called ‘Self.’ Once in five years, the artist collects his blood (4,5 liters) and uses it to make a sculpture of his head. You can always order paper writing service on PaperWriter for your art essay if you don’t want to deal with the gore.

Other shocking facts about the artist are his use of feces and body fluids in the creation of the masterpiece. Yes, Marc Quinn is a genius exploring life and death questions. However, he might have used other materials for his works to appear less shocking to the public.

#2: Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’

What we consider a breakthrough nowadays was the most shocking artwork in the 1910s. What Duchamp did was simple. He bought a urinal, signed it with a pseudonym, and sent the ‘masterpiece’ to the art community. Obviously, the artwork offended everyone.

It took some time for the public to understand that art does not have boundaries. In reality, any object placed in proper surroundings can become an artwork. Duchamp influenced contemporary art and changed the meaning of overall art forever.

#3: Stuart Brisley’s ‘And For Today… Nothing’

One of the most controversial artworks in history, ‘And For Today… Nothing’ leaves questions even nowadays. Certainly, it is not the best idea to use this object for improving creativity in the classroom since the artwork is repulsive.

Brisley filled a bathtub with black water, added pieces of rotten meat, and dived into the mess. He positioned himself so he could breathe. Otherwise, his whole body was covered with smelly water and rotten meat. Obviously, the visitors and Brisley’s colleagues asked the artist to leave because of the terrible smell.

#4: Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Comedian’

Created in 2019, the artwork is a banana taped to the wall. More a joke than a serious art object, the banana was sold for $120 000. Sounds crazy, right? That’s exactly the theme Cattelan explores in his artwork.

Rich people are ready to buy anything called ‘art.’ Also, the owner can fight the dying nature of the fruit by substituting a ripe banana with a fresh one. In turn, a question of mass culture pops up. Anyone can tape a banana to the wall, so how can we find the original artwork?

#5: Andres Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’

Another artist ready to use his bodily fluids for a masterpiece. Created in 1987, this artwork is a photograph of a crucifix placed in a glass of Serrano’s urine. Never had a tiny crucifix put the artist’s life in danger so much. The public almost killed Serrano, claiming his work was pure blasphemy. The artist shows there’s no need to major in art in order to create amazing art objects that enrage the public and build a career for an artist.

#6: Ai Weiwei’s ‘Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn’

Created in 1995, the artwork is a series of three photographs that capture Weiwei dropping an urn. Well, anyone can drop an urn and take a photo of themselves doing it. Why is the artwork so important? In the artwork, an urn is a ceremonial object with 200 years of usage. The urn is sacred. Hence, dropping it equals blasphemy. Weiwei makes a shocking critique of the political regime in China. In the end, the artist claims that to build a new country, one must destroy the old one.

#7: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’

In 1907, the artwork was considered disrespectful to the refined tastes of the upper-class elite. But as we’ve already seen, all the most shocking artworks bring innovation to the world.
What was there to hate about Picasso’s artwork? Well, the subjects of the work were women from the red-light district. Again, the upper-class public found it repulsive. Further, the poses of the models were classic but seductive. The artist also depicted the women in a distorted perspective, challenging the artistic language forever.

#8: Damien Hirst’s ‘For the Love of God’

Love it or hate it, Hirst’s artworks are a definition of controversy nowadays. Frozen sharks in water tanks and skulls covered in diamonds – not everyone will find Hirst’s art appealing. However, the main idea explored in Hirst’s artworks is the relation between art and elites or art and capitalism.

Like Cattelan, Hirst questions the elite’s understanding of art. By using a plastic skull, he shows the futility of modern art. By covering the plastic skull with diamonds, he shows the capitalist’s attitude toward art. An artwork might be senseless, but once it has a price and popularity, the public is ready to buy it.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a frequent visitor to art galleries or not, it’s never too late to start loving art. Bored of classic angels and romantic shepherds? Try contemporary art! Especially if you’re in love with quirky things. We hope our article expands your knowledge of art and inspires your creativity in daily life. Good luck!

* Contributed content and may contain affiliate links.

About The Author


Danielle Holke is a long-time knitter, first taught by her beloved grandmother as a young girl growing up in Canada. In 2008 she launched KnitHacker, a lively blog and knitting community which has since grown to be a popular presence in contemporary knitting culture, reaching more than a million readers each year. As a marketing professional, Danielle advises and works with a motley squad of artists, yarn bombers, film makers, pattern designers, yarn companies and more. Learn more about her latest book, Knits & Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany.

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