Have you ever asked yourself when seeing art who might have been the inspiration for this artwork? Was there somebody who did something similar before this artist picked it up and created his/her artwork? Pablo Picasso paid respect to Vincent van Gogh in one of his early paintings by painting in Van Gogh’s style. He had seen the greatness of Van Gogh before others did.
An interesting “couple” are also Charlie Chaplin and Stanley Kubrick. There is a great documentary about Stanley Kubrick called “A Life in Pictures” from 2001 and another great documentary about Charlie Chaplin called “Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin” from 2003. I watched first the Kubrick documentary and it was absolutely amazing and impressive. Only later when I watched the Chaplin documentary I was surprised how influential Charlie Chaplin was and how much of his artistically groundbreaking film work could be found in Kubrick’s work.
The same happens in photography. One of the photographs above is from Peter Beard, “I’ll Write Whenever I can” and shows him with a dead crocodile in the typical Peter Beard style of presenting his work. The other photograph is from Helmut Newton, “Crocodile Eating Ballerina” from 1983. Seeing the age of Peter Beard in the image, it looks like he was first with the crocodile posing.
How often does the same as with these two pictures happen? In this Internet social media age probably a million times. We just don’t know, because not every artwork becomes as famous as the art from Beard and Newton. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care about the intellectual property of others, only because they might never find out. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Credit your sources and protect your creations.
Happy sourcing and creating. Be inspired.
Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com