Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An original?

Something about this self portrait kept feeling familiar ... like I'd seen it someplace before, but I couldn't quite home in on where. Then I realized it kind of channels the original Francis Cugat cover art for The Great Gatsby. (One of my favorite book covers, ever.)

Self portrait 1-16-13

I wasn't consciously trying to mimic that artwork when I made this portrait. Any similarities didn't dawn on me until well after the fact. They just kind of worked their way in through an open window, I guess. How does that quote go? "There are no original ideas. There are only original people." I hope that's not completely true. I am not jaded enough yet to give up all hope for original ideas. And a copycat is the last thing I want to be, unless it is intentional copycat-ism meant as homage, or a tip o' the hat, or a wink and a nudge to something specific. (Two years ago I made a self portrait of me as "Madame X" from the John Singer Sargent painting. I meant it.) So, with apologies to Mr. Cugat and in spite of the accidental mimicry here, I sincerely hope The Great Gatsby flavor doesn't diminish the uniqueness of my work. Because if I strive to be anything in this life, I definitely strive to be one of life's "original people."

The Great Gatsby original cover art