In a perfect world, artists create original works of art. They sign their names on their works, claim it their own and sell them as originals... rightfully. If they make multiple copies of their works, these are numbered and their signatures are affixed onto them. If an artist will copy another's work, acquire inspiration from it or use the components of the other's works on his own, the artist will acknowledge use of the other's material. There is respect for the one who came before. There is recognition for the one who began something. BUT THAT is in a perfect world.
Coming out of the framer's shop this morning, I stepped out unto the street to notice a couple - a man and a woman - looking at a canvas with a familiar image of a pretty well-known artist's work, the value of which isn't something one throws around carelessly. The small painting was propped up on a tree and they were admiring it. I stopped dead on my tracks when I realized the oddity of propping an expensive piece of art by a dusty roadside. I also noticed the presence of a third person who was talking animatedly about how long he had to let the paint dry. He also spoke of the intricacies of applying his colors on the canvas and how he had to compose his image.
I looked at the third person knowing that he's the creator of the piece, when I realized it wasn't the artist whose work it was that I expected. You see the image propped up on the tree belongs to a more famous, living artist. And the one talking to the couple was someone who copied the painting. And it turned out, when the man pulled out another canvas, that there were two works... of the same image, of the same artist!
The artist saw me looking at the canvasses and abruptly covered one canvas with the other. I took a step forward but hesitated and turned back to join my companion Clarice back to her car.
"Did you see that?" I turned to Clarice as she started to turn on the engine.
"YES! I knew what was running through your head. I thought you were going to to talk to them," she said as she turned the wheel to drive down the street.
I looked at the rear view mirror and saw the couple handing the artist an envelope.
"I feel so disheartened..." I told Clarice.
"Yeah, I noticed," she said.
"Shit happens," I thought.