Monday, 18 March 2013

Artistic Weekend

Is there a weird time continuum between weekends and weekdays? How come every single time weekends seem to fly by in an instant? You blink and you miss them! Especially, when you’re having fun…

We visited ‘Tate Modern’ on Friday to see the latest Lichtenstein exhibition. For those interested in this form of modern art, the exhibition is highly recommended. Although I had seen some of his work before, I never saw a full collection of his work, displaying his evolution as an artist through the years. And in any case, paying a visit to Tate Modern is always a great way to spend your evening.

 It’s very interesting to see how artists play with various forms of art, mediums and materials. Roy (Lichtenstein) was mostly well known for his paintings that resemble comic books. However, he has done lots of other things as well, including installations and sculptures.

What I found intriguing was the fact that many of the pieces he created were not really his own ideas, but copies of other people’s works. Even his famous comic ‘strips’ were almost identical to actual comic books published at the time. I thought he was just influenced by them and I didn’t know they were direct copies! Apparently, he was intrigued by ‘DC Comics’ or other similar publications. Roy was a comic book geek after all!

At first I was disappointed. The fact that all these pieces were ‘stolen’ and there was no originality in them, made me feel cheated in a way. However, then I remembered that there is no real parthenogenesis in art. I don’t believe there is an artist not influenced by another artist or something he saw or heard somewhere. Even the ground breaking artists, let’s say for example Picasso, started from somewhere and then evolved into something else. During his early years he was influenced by his own father and even Paul Cezanne.

Then, I started seeing Roy’s paintings and works differently. Yes, he was copying other people’s work, but he did so in his own original way, making each piece he copied his own. What’s the difference between other artists, for example Hockney painting landscapes? The landscape was there; the painter saw it, liked it and painted it. The same applies for Lichtenstein. He saw for example the sculpture titled ‘Laocoon and his sons’; liked it and painted it. The result looks like this. Don’t you find it nice?

The rest of the weekend was also very nice. On Saturday we went for a walk and lunch in Chelsea. Almost every time we’re in the area, we visit the Saatchi gallery and this time was no different. There’s an amazing installation (I don’t know how to call it) in the basement that we always visit. Richard Wilson, the artist, filled a room with oil. As an idea it’s quite simple, but the result is very nice. It looks like this:

(Ignoring the smell), the mirroring effect of the oil and the way that affects the space of the room is breath taking.

So, in general my weekend was very nice. I had such a nice time that I completely ignored the continuously horrible weather and the fact that I had a very bad journey to work this morning! The tube train I was in had to be derailed and there were lots of delays! I didn’t have a very good start of the week but I didn’t mind that much. I didn’t even complain about it… :-)


  1. What kind of oil? motor oil? If so then I bet it would smell pretty bad!

    1. I'm not sure. It was smelly, but not amazingly bad. After a while you could get used to it

  2. I do love me some lichtenstein!

  3. Thanks for the perspective on Lichtenstein. Good insights.

    I don't have an art education but I've always thought mark of a good artist was not being 100% original as much as being able to acknowledge the influence of others without becoming derivative

    1. I never had art education either, but to be honest it never stopped me from expressing an opinion... :-)