Jade O'Donoghue

5 pieces of art that confuse us a bit

Five pieces of art that confuse us a bit

First published date June 24 2014 Amended date February 23 2016

Art, for the uninitiated, is generally quite confusing. ‘What makes art, ‘art’?’ is a question many have asked and even some of the world’s top artists can’t answer it. Some say it’s about being unique, some say it’s about skill, some say it’s making people think and some say that all art is good and that it’s just a question of taste.

Ok, well this has confused us even more. Anyway, here are five that we’re really struggled to get our heads around. See if you can make sense of them...


1. This art is just sick.

Millie Brown is well known within art circles for her art created by drinking coloured milk and then vomiting it onto canvas (yep, it’s making you view that image above in a whole new light, isn’t it?). She became even more famous when she performed on stage with Lady Gaga, vomiting all over the singer’s dress.

Image via howzyafatha.com


2. It’s a lobster. And a telephone.

Salvador Dali is a very famous Spanish surrealist artist and he created this object back in 1936 (so weird art is nothing new!). It is said that the lobster has sexual connotations for Dali because it appears in many of his other works to cover genitalia. It was designed to create a reaction and it certainly has done.

Image via guardian.co.uk


3. You’re having a shark.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living was the name of this 1991 piece by Damien Hirst for Charles Saatchi. It was controversial in that a lot of critics claimed that anyone could have created this piece of art, to which Hirst famously responded, ‘But you didn’t, did you?’

Image via damienhurst.com


4. But mum, it’s art?

We’ve always needed an excuse for not making our beds and in 1999 Tracey Emin provided us with the perfect one. Her Turner-shortlisted installation, My Bed, certainly got people talking about the interesting items close to the unmade bed. This is another piece of art people question since it is simply her bed as she left it after she had suffered depression and stayed in it for days.

Image via dailymail.co.uk


5. Time to turn everything in the bathroom on its side.

This piece, entitled Fountain, by Marcel Duchamp is essentially a urinal laid on its back as opposed to sitting upright against a wall. In 1917 when it was created, it was rejected for exhibition however it’s now considered one of the most iconic works of art of the 20th century and typical of the anti-rational Dada artistic movement.

Image via tate.org.uk


If you think you could do better than these, have a look at the art courses available.

Jade O'Donoghue

Jade will talk your ear off about rowing if you let her. She studied an MA and NCTJ diploma in Journalism at Brunel but her course-taking didn't stop there, having tried a number of different subjects since working here, even magic. Whether you're an expert who wants to share their knowledge, a student who's had a great experience or you just want to say hi, she'd love you to get in touch through our social media pages.