Saturday, 29 December 2007

Forgery or Tribute?

I've been thinking about the fine line between forgery and tribute. Attempting to master the style of another artist and absorb yourself in their work or a shameless rip off?

At school we always used to copy famous art works or the work of an artist we were studying. I read in "I was Vermeer" that Michelangelo used to borrow classic works of art in order to copy them, but he returned the copies, keeping the originals for himself.
So here are a few I faked earlier, while I was at school. The first is from Lisa Yuskavage's "Kathy on a Pedestal" and the second is my attempt at "Siamese Smile" by Chatchai Puipia.
I remember trying to decide what to paint for an exam piece and not being satisfied with any idea I came up with because it had been done before. Another artist had painted about those themes, or in that style, or about the same subject. When I explained my frustration to my art teacher I always remember him saying to me that its impossible to ever produce anything new in that sense. Everything has been done before.

So how do you produce an original artwork? I suppose it is by bringing yourself into the work. Putting a part of you - of your life - into the canvas. Anyway this is what I've been musing on this weekend and I painted this picture about it. I got the idea form one of those vintage type French posters. I have one on my bedroom wall which I bought ages ago from a second hand shop.

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