Jonathan Talbot: The Bachelors
(Variations on a Theme by Marcel Duchamp)

Cut Paper Collages, 2008

Click on the Thumbnails to see the Images
Note: The series is meant to be viewed in order.

Artist's Statement

These works are the result of an unexpected and intimate encounter with a Marcel Duchamp study for "La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même" (The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even), often referred to, in English, as “The Large Glass.”

When Duchamp created "The Large Glass," he defined the occupations of the various célibataires, represented by the “malic molds,” as a cavalryman, a gendarme, a policeman, a waiter’s assistant, a delivery boy, a servant, a priest, a stationmaster, and an undertaker.

In this series of collages the bachelors have been "unmolded" and can be seen as real people from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the period during which they took first form in Duchamp’s mind.

It took a while to find or create the images, thus the first variation is titled “The Policeman, the Priest, and the Cavalryman await their Companions.” By the third variation, “The Bachelors,” I had acquired all the images and the "célibataires" were ready to start their adventures.

The series has taken on a life of its own and the adventures of the Bachelors have only just begun. I expect to make many more variations in this series and the new works will be added to this page. Happily, I do not have to search for ideas as the characters themselves provide them.

- Jonathan Talbot, 2008

The Duchamp Study for the "Bachelors" portion of "La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même," the inspiration for this series (click on image to enlarge)


1. "The Policeman, The Priest, and the Cavalryman await their Companions"

"The Arrival of the Gendarme and the Undertaker"

"The Bachelors"

"The Loneliness of the Busboy"

5. "The Loneliness of the Busboy Resolved"

6. "The Stationmaster, the Priest, the Undertaker, and the Delivery Boy Visit Palmyra"

7. "The Bachelors meet the Venus de Milo"

8. "The Bachelors reject the Venus de Milo because of her Imperfections"

9. "The Undertaker and the Cavalryman Discover Gravity"

10. "The Bachelors visit the Tuleries"

11. "The Bachelors visit New York"

12. "The Bachelors visit Long Island City"

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