Teens Prank Museum-Goers by Leaving Glasses on Floor of SFMOMA

Visitors began to snap photos of the instant readymade.

The 'artwork' used by the teens to prank visitors. Photo: @TJCruda via Twitter.

Some of the most challenging contemporary artworks will leave museum-goers questioning their artistic merit.

That’s what a local 17-year-old thought on a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art when he and his friends decided to play a prank on fellow visitors.

“Upon first arrival we were quite impressed with the artwork and paintings presented in the huge facility,” T.J. Khayatan told BuzzFeed. “However some of the ‘art’ wasn’t very surprising to some of us.”

He explained, “We stumbled upon a stuffed animal on a gray blanket and questioned if this was really impressive…”

Khayatan and his pals thought it would be funny to leave a pair of glasses on the ground and see how many people they could fool into thinking it was part of the exhibition. According to the young prankster, instead of rejecting the work, gullible museum-goers started to gather around the glasses almost immediately, and even took pictures of the readymade on display.

Of course, the teens couldn’t resist documenting their antics on social media, and the joke quickly went viral; the tweet was retweeted 47,293 times and was liked 51,230 times, as of publication.

Despite his blatant parody of contemporary art Khayatan insisted that he’s no philistine. “At the end of the day,” he told BuzzFeed, “I see [art] as a pleasure for open-minded people and imaginative minds.”

For visitors looking for an older readymade on view at the museum, SFMOMA owns “the fourth full-scale version” of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, which disgusted the American Society of Independent Artists when the artist introduced it in 1917.


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