Michael Craig Martin, An Oak Tree, 1973.
While this appears to be a glass of water on a shelf, the artist states that it is in fact an oak tree. Craig-Martin’s assertion addresses fundamental questions about what we understand to be art and our faith in the power of the artist. The work can be seen as an exploration of Marcel Duchamp’s declaration that any existing object can be declared a work of art. In his accompanying text, Craig-Martin provides the questions as well as the answers, allowing the simultaneous expression of scepticism and belief regarding the transformative power of art.
Click on the photo to read the accompanying text.