It’s All About Art
I was recently reading about an artist who has recreated sections of the Statue of Liberty and placed them strategically around NY, in sites where the actual statue was visible. It does make you marvel at the ingenuity of a colossal sculpture made from hammered copper. The thin copper in the original is held up by an internal steel structure designed by Eiffel, he of the famous Tour Eiffel. It made me start to think about art about art, and whether this type of referential art could ever be as valid as the art it is inspired by.
The re’s no doubt that it is fascinating to see the famous statue disassembled and recreated, but apart from making us appreciate the original more, does art about art stand on its own?
When Red Grooms takes inspiration from other artists, it becomes a Red Grooms work as much as an ‘homage’. Here is his response to Jackson Pollock.
Picasso was inspired by other artists, especially Velasquez. Las Meninas was the source for literally hundreds of works. These somehow also remain ‘Picasso’ paintings, not reproductions.
Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese prints, and recreated the woodblock in oils on canvas. The original piece is completely transformed and seems to have formed a part of Van Gogh’s vocabulary.
After thinking about it for a while, it seems that when the original artwork is transformed, a copy can be a work of art in its own right. Otherwise, it is in danger of becoming a charming souvenir.