Moonbeam, 2002, 46x36
I've begun to think of them as "Complementary Paintings"... as in "Thanks for the idea, the inspiration, the compositional arrangement, the colors, the value patterns, etc." What are you supposed to say to such as this? I've had works copied verbatim, or simply borrowed but still obviously mine... and I've had my whole web site lifted and manipulated for use on eBay... especially showing installation of my shows in various galleries and claiming to be the work of some fictitious artist. I'm not going into that today, already my blood is curdling just brushing with the memory.
Actually I just wanted to quickly put up an older work and let the world know I haven't given up blogging, just busy with other things including a family visitor and we've been going through old pics and memories... fun, but leaving no time for the blog. So what painting did the magic pointer select today... one with enough baggage to open the door to that other business... the one where we are supposed to feel honored and complimented when our work is lifted and interpreted in a fashion that would not have left my studio... but fortunately, it doesn't have my name on it. Okay... so why is it okay for me to openly admit to being inspired by Johns or Diebenkorn as I've recently blogged? Maybe because they are declared masters and therefore open game... teachers, you might say. I don't know... I'm just musing around.
Anyway, here's the proud offspring, the painting I just happen to find on the web one day when I googled my own name. The kid had even credited me with the inspiration so I do appreciate the acknowledgement. And yes, somewhere deep inside I think it's okay to be used as a learning tool... but would also offer the advice that one should be selective as to whom he chooses to use as a teacher... what the heck are the qualifications? And I've also received actual thank you emails from artists, pointing me to their websites which contain faintly similar (but incredibly awkward) geometric lines and color grids. If imitation is the highest form of compliment, why do I feel all prickly about it?