Sunday, October 9, 2011

Through the looking glass

Art is a gift that literally keeps on giving. Consider the impact of artists from both the ancient and modern world and how many times you have seen their work transposed by another person. How the intricacies of the initial vision are reinterpreted by others provides us with two points to consider. Firstly, is this simply some shameless homage or a blatant copy of earlier inspiration? Secondly... does the image or work speak to you in a way that's different from the artist's original motivation? As I myself have often said to people, after thousands of years of successive potters you can't hope to create something in the round that hasn't been referenced before. 

We all absorb so much from the everyday world around us that to deny the influence of other earlier artists and designers is just disingenuous. That being said I'm eternally grateful that creativity is a global stream that never seems to dry out. And who are we to judge someone's work when it harks back to another era or has clear echoes of an earlier concept? Digital photography and mobile phones allow contemporary images to reach a much wider audience at lightening speed. Let's then have a look at a few pictures which explore the points I've raised earlier. I personally think that it's a fascinating opportunity to look at how someone truly 'sees' the subject matter and their summation of this. 

Coco Rocha by Steven Meisel. (Old Master/Modern Photographer)

Egg and Dart Motif on an architectural piece from the Roman Forum.  Earlier references in ancient Greek buildings. (Wedgwood anyone?)
Michaelangelo's Pieta. Recall the outcry when Benetton tried to shoot a dying AIDS patient in similar pose. 
Chinese Girl series poster by V. Tretchikoff reinterpreted as domestic wall mural. Photo: Courtesy of I love Norwegian Wood.

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