Yep, I am going here again! It's Saturday afternoon and I just got my new copy of The Artist's Magazine. Eagerly, I open to the first page and I see a letter from Cynthia (CJ) Rider, president of an artists' league. The letter is titled "On Competitions: What's Ethical?"* Then she goes on to say
" .....copying the masters [is] not for creating original art."
I could really offer hundreds of examples, but I am only offering one for the sake of brevity. The first painting shown here is Titian's, Venus Of Urbino c. 1538. The second painting is Manet's Olympia c. 1863. I wonder if Ms. Rider would not allow Manet to enter Olympia into one of her juried competitions due to lack of originality?
It has been a long held tradition among artists to recreate over and over the artwork of those they admire. They all did this, Michelangelo, Raphael, Manet, Picasso, Monet I could go on and on! Without this recreation we wouldn't have Icons!
I do understand that we have to be careful to respect other artist's ability to make a living and to be fresh with our creativity. However, I am really surprised that in our world of lawsuits, fear and greed that creativity hasn't been stifled all together.
Ms. Rider furthered her argument by stating that "...if I change a few or many words in a Shakespearian sonnet, it will never make it mine." [sic] Okay I have only one thing to say to that --West Side Story, baby!
We are artists and we are creative but we do need inspiration. God doesn't always talk to us directly, usually he speaks to us through other people.
Alice Cooper mentioned the other night on his radio show that he was once asked why he didn't sue the Beastie Boys for using his music. He said (to paraphrase) "...art is for everyone man. If they could use it I was happy."
I really want to hear your opinions on this. Later on I will post a painting I have been working on which really relates to this issue.....
Looking forward to your comments.
*(The Artist's Magazine, July/August 2009 pp. 8 -10)