Who is the Original? Copy Cat part 2…
Clifford Bailey | Take Five

Who is the Original? Copy Cat part 2…

Inspiration versus copying has come up a bit lately. We have been having some great discussions in 3rd grade about the difference between copying something and being inspired by something. We are doing Romare Bearden collages (I stay doubled over in laughter watching the 3rd grade musician collages come to fruition). Also, I was commissioned to copy one of my own paintings (it was by the same organization that commissioned the first painting so no harm done to “one of a kind” even though the new one is double the size of the first one). See previous post. I tell you this: copying even your own artwork (while it is flattering to be asked to do so) takes so much of the raw expression out. Often in a copy not only is the visual work not truly “original” but the emotions are not original going into it. That’s not to say that I didn’t put any emotion into my copy of my painting… it was there but I did have to find it. Could one that is copying a painting that is not their own put that raw emotion and expression in it? This is a good one to ponder as I am inclined to say “no” yet can think of exceptions…

A few years ago I met my family in Aspen for a few great days of skiing. While at dinner one night I looked across the room and saw a Clifford Bailey painting. Or did I? I have long admired Clifford Bailey and on my own time have read about his past and his inspirations / experiences that have shaped him as an artist. But… when I approached the painting on the wall it was signed “WHITE.” What? That got me looking further into it and doing some research. The painting that I was looking at was a Todd White painting. Being a bit of an art nerd I immediately emailed both Clifford Bailey and Todd White asking them about the undeniable similarities in their work. Deep down I knew. I heard back from one artist and was blown away at the sincerity of this artist and blown away that the artist took the time to go to my website and look at my own little body of work.

If you would like, go to www.artofwhite.com and www.cliffordbailey.com. This is not to poo poo anybody and I wanted to be careful about lifting images but you can see a good range of work. You can also see the lifestyles of the artists quite a bit. I felt like a detective but it was quite a fun and interesting detective project!
What do y’all think? I’m not saying quite yet who I heard back from…
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