Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Head full of truthful  images...let it go!
Ink, colored pencil, felt pen drawing.

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” C.S. Lewis

Over the years I have seen many artists and teachers embrace appropriation in their art work and teaching.  Copying has always been part of art education and teachers has stretched the aesthetic rules to allow using reference images. The picture file was a big part of teaching and and the commercial art  world.  My high school teacher had a large picture file will images that she used in her teaching. We all like to pretend that our art work evolved without “borrowing” a few elements from existing work or from printed imagery. My own work has elements of Picasso like images and symbology borrowed from art history. Some artists have built their entire career on appropriation. Google images provide thousands of images for artists to utilize with or without copyright.  “Appropriation has been defined as "the taking over, into a work of art, of a real object or even an existing work of art. The Tate Gallery traces the practice back to Cubism  and Dadaism, but continuing into 1940s Surrealism and 1950s Pop Art. It returned to prominence in the 1980s with the Neo-Geo  artists.” Wikipedia 

“Despite the long and important history of appropriation, this artistic practice has recently resulted in contentious copyright issues which reflects more restrictive copyright legislation. The U.S. has been particularly litigious in this respect. A number of case-law examples have emerged that investigate the division between transformative works and derivative works. Many countries are following the U.S lead toward more restrictive copyright, which risks making this art practice difficult if not illegal.” Wikipedia 

Recently, I have been posting “ self-taught” or “raw”. It is an art that is disconnected from the everyday barrage of images and emerges from deep

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2015 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

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