Monthly Archives: February 2011


Appropriation = Politically Correct Plagiarism (??)

Appropriation – (often derogatory) the artistic practice or technique of reworking images of well-known paintings, photographs, etc., in one’s work (Oxford American Dictionaries).

Édouard Manet was a frequent user of appropriation in his work. He grew up and studied in Paris at the time when the first public museums sprung around French capital. In his spare time young Manet would copy the old masters in the Louvre. Later, as an established painter, Manet very often ‘recycled’ characters appearing on canvases of Giorgione, Titian, Goya or Raphael and used them in his own paintings. Sometimes even the whole layout of the painting was ‘borrowed’ from the classic predecessor. The composition of the Execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico (1868) is noticeably similar to Goya’s The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, and his famous Luncheon on the Grass has been appropriated from few artworks, mainly Giorgione’s Pastoral Concert.

The following tendency to appropriate artworks became very fashionable and recurrent practice in Modern Art. Nowadays in Digital Age, with unlimited access to art resources, ‘stealing’ somebody-else’s work is as common as dirt. What previously could be seen as dynamic dialogue among the artists, today became dull and cheap way to attract viewer and sell easier, very often resulting in poor, ‘copy of a copy’ art.

Here’s some examples of my own ‘bad taste’ appropriation:

"It's a Jungle Out There Baby"

Peter Miller "Looking for the Origin of the World"











Technically it is not an appropriation, sience I found Miller’s ‘original’ accidentally AFTER committing my piece. But still.. I’m happy that we share sense of humour:)


"The Adventures of a Little Red Car"

Gustave Courbet "Origin of the World"











It seems that every respectable artist should deliver an appropriation of this painting (Oh God! No!!). Well, there you go! Besides I think it makes great beginning of the story and, of course, unmissable cover page.


"Bound and Gagged" (part of Consumerism project)

Designer Ralph Ander appears naked and bound on catwalk of Berlin Fashion week 2010.












There is no ideological connection between my piece and Ander’s act (whatever he had in mind..). I simply saw this pic in Metro newspaper and decided to steal it!! Uff!.. finally I got it off my chest!.. Sorry Ralph.


And finally..

detail of "Postcard from London"; recent Illustration project.










This is like a robber’s hideout:) How much contraband can you spot?

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