My favourite artist is Marcel DuChamp and he invented the readymades, which were basically everyday objects chosen by the artist as art. So he had things like a bicycle wheel bolted to a stool, a snow shovel, a hat rack, etc. Most people I know dislike the readymades and think the only reason why DuChamp did them was because he had no skills (which ignores all the paintings he did prior to the readymades.)
Recent research however have suggested that DuChamp wasn't being completely truthful about his readymades. He may not have actually gone to a store and randomly picked mass manufactured objects to be art pieces. He may have made the objects and then pretended they were everyday objects that he just happened to have chosen as art. Which isn't that unusual since some of his past works have hinted at him being very good at forgery.
Love the Marcel. I just heard that bit about the readymades the other day. It's interesting to think about it from his point of view, though; I really think (if that's true, anyway) he got a huge kick out of the reaction to his "found art" all these years.
On a side note, I've always found it kind of odd that people that make found-art objects these days cite DuChamp as a key figure when Schwitters took it a million times farther. :/
I think some of the best artists are self taught. writing an essay about old painters is pointless to me. And i hate those art pieces with just a square, doodling, and abstract. its crap to me, i dont get why they are being bought by museums.
Making statements that qualify one group over another don't interest me. There are good trained artists and good self-taught artists. I've always felt that artists who trained themselves initially and were able to put aside reservations and go through formal classes got the best of both worlds, as far as an understanding of their internal/personal method on top of the professional process.