Artists have always appropriated in one way or another. They would travel to see the work of another artist or to visit cathedrals to learn from architecture, sculptures, and paintings. They would study from the masters and recreate paintings. Today's version of appropriation is only made different by the immediate access artists have to the world, via the laptop studio. There is endless illumination available on an endless supply of social media platforms and websites. The lines are blurring between art, originality, and appropriation, and it is becoming more and more difficult to separate what is art and what is not art.
As I have grown as an artist, I've looked back and noticed the many times I have appropriated ideas, composition, color, or lighting. At times I was intentionally recreating another image in an attempt to learn a specific lighting technique. Other times, I'd pursued an idea after looking for inspiration and ended up with an image that was much closer to the original than I had intended. Occasionally, I've created an image I felt was totally new and original, only to later find the same type of image online. I've had teachers assign me a magazine ad to recreate as closely as possible, while I've had other teachers call a piece cliche and unoriginal. I've participated in stylized shoots where I felt I was being creative, but others came out with the same images as me. I've also shot for weddings where the client wanted the most cliche image in the most cliche spot, simply because it was the best possible option.
For this project, I have gathered my personal imagery and put them next to images that question authenticity. Some images I found and intentionally recreated it, some were inspiration, some were taken by others who were creating imagery at the same place and time as me, and some images I found after thinking I had created something original. All imagery that was not personally created by me and then uploaded and edited on my laptop studio, was found on websites in the vast internet of the laptop studio. This project, including the other artists' works at the end, is not meant to be a deciding piece on appropriation. It is simply meant to examine the inconsistencies in the modern art world and start a conversation in your mind as to how you feel about your own originality and appropriation.