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The World’s Funniest Artists
Get inspired 16 May 2022

The World’s Funniest Artists

Although inconceivable in the past, humor has invaded the art world during this last century. The contentious nature and the offbeat view of art make it the ideal medium to elicit laughter. But who are the funniest artists in the world? Artsper presents these funny artworks!

funny artworks
Joan Cornellà, Carpe diem, 2019

Marcel Duchamp: the pioneer of humor in art

Marcel Duchamp has undeniably left his mark on art history. His unique imprint is characterized, among other things, by the fact that he introduced humor into art. To do this, he developed derision and self-mockery through his own unique approach. With a propensity to let laughter enter his art, he has shown that “nothing is serious enough to be taken seriously”.   This approach to humor with such finesse serves to detach itself from the mockery and the sauciness. He used quirky titles such as “Fountain” for a urinal and  “Mona Lisa Revisited” (or L.H.O.O.Q.) as with other ready-mades.  Using the old or the new, he made funny old paintings and innovated by humorous creation. A succession of quality jokes that make this artist an iconic figure in art today.

L.H.O.O.Q., Marcel Duchamp, 1919
Marcel DuchampL.H.O.O.Q., 1919

Marcel Broodthaers: famous and funny artworks in paradox

Strongly inspired by Surrealist artist Rene Magritte and French poet Stéphane Mallarmé, Marcel Broodthaers built his art on the humor of change. He used fun common objects, such as eggs, molds or pipes juxtaposed as he pleased.  He would assemble them or pile them up to give them new substance which then became absurd and funny.  Broodthaers played on paradoxes and tensions. He confronted the original and its copy, the image and its representation, the real and the fiction. If this artist has marked his time, it is because his works remains hilarious and telling even today.

funny artworks
Marcel Broodthaers, Les Animaux de la Ferme, 1974, Tate Modern, London, UK

Maurizio Cattelan: the cheeky kid of satirical art

Neither the art nor the humor of Maurizio Cattelan leaves viewers feeling indifferent. A cheeky child of contemporary art, he represents the unpresentable, mocks institutions and the art world. We find on the irreverent podium: the Pope killed by a meteorite or Hitler on his knees, praying. More trivial, he then realized L.O.V.E, a giant middle finger located in front of the building of the Milan stock exchange. We also owe him the work The Comedian: a banana sold at 120,000 euros! Or the placement of the emblematic letters “Hollywood” on a hill overlooking the landfill of Palermo.  These series of pranks sometimes arouse admiration, and sometimes contempt. But behind a superficial first reading, Cattelan approaches the notion of truth from all angles. He invokes primary emotions, sometimes visceral, which mix mischievous laughter and anguish of betrayal by the spectators.

Maurizio Cattelan, L.O.V.E., 2010, Piazza degli Affari, Milan.

Joan Cornella: depicting a dark society with flashy colors

Brutal irony and raw denunciation are the key words of the illustrator and cartoonist Joan Cornella. His colorful drawings are bathed in a black humor that gives one goose bumps or causes explosions of laughter. He raises in turn the paradoxes of the human condition and Western societies. Like a child with a naive look and extreme perspicacity, he debunks the certainties and underlines the alienation. Opulence, illogic, egocentrism, individualism, society of the spectacle or the cult of appearance, he approaches hypocrisy with a disconcerting frontality. His cheeky and funny artworks leave a taste of pungent candies. Simple shapes, acidic colors and sudden surprises that spark joy as much as they sting.

funny artworks
Joan Cornellà, Extinction, 2019

Funny artworks: moments of relaxation or ultimate denunciation?

From this moment ad infinitum, funny artists generously offer their vision of the world, sometimes grating, sometimes light-hearted. Humor in art seems to present two faces. It can offer a parenthesis of relaxation as well as a violent awareness. At the center of strong enthusiasm or strong repulsion, funny artworks does not always elicit unanimity from the viewers! And you, are you laughing or cringing at humor in art? Discover more Surrealist and charming works on Artsper!

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