Artist's Shit  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Artist's shit (Italian: Merda d'artista) is a work of art by the Italian artist Piero Manzoni.

In May 1961, Manzoni collected his own feces in 90 numbered cans, which contain 30 grams of feces each. He labelled them as '100% pure artist's shit' in Italian, English, French, and German, and sold them for the price of their weight in gold. Their current estimated value stands at approximately EUR30,500 (US$25,000–35,000). On May 23 2007, an exemplar has been sold for EUR124,000 at Sotheby's.

Like Duchamp's readymades, Artist's shit questions the meaning of art as both cultural and consumer objects by forcing the viewer to confront a system that venerates cans of shit as works of art.

Some of the cans have exploded or leaked as a result of internal pressure or the corrosion of the metallic parts.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Artist's Shit" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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