art & authenticitypublished: 2011-01-18
A friend of mine has made a collage type painting of a man. The man is almost pop-arted to perfection. Her painting has been sold and she was happy.
Yesterday, I noticed a magazine at a Gallery’s magazine at a neighbour’s house. On the cover it had that image of the man. Had my friend been so succeful that she is now a much desired artist? No. It was the same man, but different. He was not collaged on this image. It was a photo of him, and only him, in full. A powerful photo taken by a famous photographer.
For a moment, I felt indignation. Should I confront her with this and make her out to be a fake? But then I started wondering whether she had ever made out to have designed it all herself. Perhaps, when asked, she would simply acknowledge the source she used. And isn’t being inspired by other artists’ work a natural process? Isn’t it what everyone always did back in the 18th C? Who, then, inspires me? I know which writers do, and indeed perhaps they even influence my writing. Not consciously, though.