‘Sherry Levine's After Walker Evans (1981) is a photograph of a Walker Evans photograph. She is challenging the concept of ownership: if she photographed the photograph, whose photograph was it, really? And she is addressing the predominance of male artists in the textbook version of art history. Sherry Levine is a feminist artist.”(From Image Duplicator) ‘
This artist became famous for replicating photos.
What is wrong with appropriation, if I photograph a puppy or a lily and I then paint it, won’t it just be like another lily or puppy? So some else has painted a lily, am I then banned from painting lillies? What if the light was just like the light when they painted their version? So many sunsets are painted how can we tell which was the original? OK, I know a totally 'line for line' and 'stroke for brush stroke' copy is entirely wrong. But Pop art exploded when Andy Warhol painted the Campbells's soup cans. So did that allow for trend setters to copy even more?
I love painting, I love trying to capture light. I look at the great artists from the early part of the 1900’s, Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Matisse, then my heart nearly bursts. The colours sing, the light is so pure. I am stunned and speechless when I am close to their work. I cried when I saw a Van Gogh up close.
I so want to paint as they do!, and if I copy it, am I wrong?, I just want to get closer to them, to see how it works; how they achieve that image. I can only do that by working from the original example. I suppose it’s only wrong if I try to sell it as mine. But it is mine. I did it after all.
I admit I have copied images, I see a shape, a figure, a line in a fashion shot, and I copy it because it talks to me. I change the colour, the size, the background, perhaps, the hair…then it becomes mine . I make it so.
I am obsessed with fashion and had some old magazines I bought; they show patterns from the 1920’s and 1930’s. One of them I altered slightly and painted in my style the result I show here. The original French magazine is delightful, but I simplified it and made the background more abstract. More 'me'.
I strive for beauty, and if in my quest I am carried along by the immense talent of those old masters I can only hope as I copy, or study, some of the colour and magic will rub off, and I can achieve the perfect symetry I see in my head. So far, however I try it has eluded me. ( Entry 5 of five),
Voting for entries starts after the 18th. By then I should be in severe pain but have a new knee, so will not be replying commenting or reading, unless life treats me kindly! Good luck to all my friends. Read and vote to support us.
Sherrie wrote in her “Statement” of 1982 that “The world is filled
Scared money never wins.
Life in a small town can be stifling, we all know too much about each other. Yet here on a ‘day out’ we are comfortable together. The bus lurches past misty pastures, there is talk of milking, and how cruel dawn starts become; how the prices for milk are bad.
Women with pale, pinched faces, and winter coats lean into the steamy windows; some of them glad of a brief rest, so they try to sleep. Men become noisy, talking of fishing and the football. There are silly jokes, and some ribald tales. A young guy at the back shows his rear at the window. Some are already into their third beer before we arrive.
We sit close together sharing a cheese sandwich, talking about what we will do when we get there. It takes three hours at least to get to Melbourne, my husband plugs his radio into his ear, and I read until it makes my stomach do somersaults.
The annual Casino trip is a fund raiser, they have raffles as we travel to the city, and the fare is subsidized by the Casino, they provide a huge ‘help yourself buffet’ as a sweetener. We get vouchers to eat there, shuffling groups in lines; organized and regimented, like cattle to the abattoir.
The lights when we arrive are dazzling, I get a moment of dizzy excitement. A rush of adrenaline, unconscious of my actions I feel for my money, yes the purse is there; yes it has notes in it, I can’t wait for the noise and the whirl of those wheels, the clunk of money, the bells and whistles, the heart stopping moments when I might,-- just might, have won a fortune. Yet the guilt I feel makes me say,
”Shall we have a walk along the riverside first, get a coffee or something?”
But I know he feels the same as I do, that rush to experience the dazzle of the unfamiliar machines, the huge expanses of carpet. The size of the place is frightening, I always get lost, yet we dive towards a machine each. Staff come round with cold drinks at the machines, so we don’t leave and stop spending.
“I just might put a dollar in" he says. The eyes glaze over, and we are both lost.
Which is so sad as we can’t afford to lose. On what we have to manage on, this is madness and it won’t last long, the money we saved to come on the trip, would buy a load of wood, or a week of grocery items. Yet when asked, we say,
“Yes we’ll come, put our name down.”
Our money is so little when we look at what others put into the hungry machines, we always hope this is the time we come home laden with cash, or a new car, or a holiday from the spot prizes. Vain hopes;
Our sensible friends from the town go to the Fishing and gaming Show, or the Quilt exhibition, or the movies. They shop in the city, and eat at the Casino but don’t stay. Very, very, wise, country people who know what hard times are.
The feeding frenzy is a spectacle too, like so many sharks in a school of fish they dive and grab. We gape as we watch piled plates pass our table. “Is he really going to eat that?” I find room for two desserts though.
Then it seems within minutes the money has been swallowed like the crème caramel I ate, slipping away with no sound. My purse is flat and so are my spirits. My husband I find doing slightly better, so he gives me a hand full of coins. I lurch from small wins and moments of elation, to despair in a few more minutes.
Then there are the empty hours, no money and nowhere to go. Beside me I see the full range of the obsession. The habits, the quirky rituals, as I sip a free coffee I observe;
The old lady who taps the screen three times between pushes, her scarf drops to the ground, her stocking are wrinkled but she has eyes for the screen only.
The young Asian man who bets the highest amount he can on each push, he wins, and soon has money in every pocket , but as I watch he puts the lot back , every crumpled note and even the small change. He starts to hit the buttons with force as if punishing them.
The glamour girl who looks like she might have been out all night, plays fast, but covers her eyes and never looks at what the screen shows. If she wins, she hits ‘gamble’ plays high stakes, and loses every time.
Loud yelling from one dark haired man, and his friends as they win the big prize, and then drink, until they are all escorted from the building.
Then the sad little man who presses slowly and carefully, and says, quietly, ‘Come on be nice to me’, as if talking to a lover.
We sit together and have a meal of monumentally disgusting food, given to us because we have enough tokens. It is not a good feeling, we have no money to be part of the elegance of Casino life, but we know that too is an illusion. There is a very strict dress code for the elite, for the rooms, where losing enormous bundles of cash, is an obligation. No tie, no entry. But a smart suit and a suitcase of cash, “Do come in!”
Why is it men wear bow ties to watch beefy thugs try to kill each other at the fights?
Why is it the racing fraternity, has such high dress standards? To get in the marquee they expect hats and very expensive shoes, top hats even at Ascot , where you mingle with royalty.
Yet bookies are just nicely disguised money snatchers. It seems that to lose money in buckets you need to dress like landed gentry. The more you can speculate the more you accumulate they tell us, and if you do it in an Italian suit does it help?
Back on the coach, with our cold coffee in a flask; and some sticky sweets gathering fluff in our pockets, we try to ignore the depressed mood that descends on us.
The Casino trips have stopped now, and perhaps it was for the greater good. We had already decided we would never go on another. The town has the benefit of the money we spend now as we buy the wood or the groceries. Perhaps the netball team lost out as they were the recipients of the money raised, but I think in the end we actually won.
This is entry 3 of five.
Voting for them starts after the 18th. By then I should be in severe pain but have a new knee, so will not be replying commenting or reading, unless life treats me kindly! Good luck to all my friends. Read and vote to support us.