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Warhol and copying


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 14 2001 - 00:09:24 PDT

I'm writing in support of what Juline said about Warhol
> I was struck by a post that
> compared Warhol to Madonna: "new ideas, lots of
> marketing skills, low morals." I take issue with
> this. What exactly were Warhol's low morals?

I would also like to know what the low morals were? AND do we judge the
value of an artist's work by the personal values that artist may have held?
Degas was probably a misologist, Wagner an anti-Semite, Pollack certainly a
drunk -- does that influence our perception of their creations?
and BTW Madonna is an original unlike the Brittany Spear types trying to
imitate her now

Warhol is about observation and duplication and expansion on Duchamp.
Artists that give us the opportunity to utilize the found object or image
with insight and a different eye.
I read somewhere, that the reason Warhol choose the Campbell's soup can, was
because he was a sickly child and his mother gave him chicken noodle
everyday, and that can was an "image" for him.
This has nothing to do with "copying." This has to do with translating.

Instead of "copying" perhaps we should be focussing on derivative. It's
what I see mostly going on in contemporary work.
I am very careful about doing "in the style of" lessons. That might be
easier to do with Rembrandt than any 20th century artist.

When I was in art college, a hundred years ago, and I went to the Met to
"copy" a historic painting, it was to understand technique. Sitting before
a masterpiece and trying to duplicate color and brushstroke has only to do
with learning a style. Breaking it down, picking it apart, trying to have
the "master " there with you. Thinking. That's the value of copying and you
can't do it from a picture in a book.
I just saw the Eakins show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I studied
hard his application of paint. He was very concerned with the "stroke" One
can't see that in pictures in a book. You can't see the layers in a picture
in a book.

I think it's a very difficult lesson to teach youngsters about the
appropriation of ideas. I tend to keep my history lessons very separate from
my problem solving lessons. I give a lot of history, but it is in the sense
of what made the artist of the time do what he/she did. Concepts and
Ain't nothing wrong with copying concepts
Lots wrong with copying style without purpose.

and this is my 2 cents