Why This Woman's Art Pissed Me Off Today

Artist Alexa Meade. Is this innovative?
It's not that I think this concept isn't cool. It's very cool. So cool, in fact, someone already thought of it over 70 years ago. The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach has a show every year where they display "living art." They paint real live people into famous paintings, display each "painting," then at the end, show the audience the technique they used to achieve the effect. The idea has been parodied on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Arrested Development.

A lot of people are blown away by Alexa Meade's art. Sure, her composition is original but the basic idea is not, and it's seriously pissing me off that everyone thinks it is. What's more, she says on her site that she "invented a technique" to make real 3 dimensional people and objects appear flat. Invented?

Let's say, Ms. Meade had never heard of The Pageant of the Masters. Is it ethical to take credit for an idea if someone else thought of it before you, even if you weren't aware of the original idea beforehand? It's like if someone says "I invented a new drink. It's made of Vodka, Kahlua and half & half. I call it a 'Hard Latte.'" No dude, that's a White Russian. Once you become aware of it, it's not longer original. Not really

Really, how often are there new ideas in art that aren't simply a regurgitation of older ideas? Look at Hollywood. We've got movies based on books, movies based on graphic novels, movies based on plays, movies based on video games, movies based on other movies, American movies that were foreign films first, sequels, reboots, Avatar. Don't get me wrong, I love movies. I love art. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by older ideas. But please don't call something original and innovative, when clearly it's not.

Image Credit: anokarina on Flickr - CC 2.0

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