Francesco Clemente and the "fine art" of "Appropriation"
Original Indian art on the left. "Appropriated" Clemente beauties on the right.
They wrote an article about Francesco Clemente's beautiful new work a few months ago. They cited all sorts of references, how it has bits of Baroque, a little of this, a little of that, Clemente is a genius, etc. Yet, they failed to mention that the pieces were as close to EXACT replicas of late 19th century works from India! That fact was brought up to the "out of it" writer, she tracks down Clemente, and he tries to weasel himself out of it. All in the article below. Fun reading!
Now, I'm all for being influenced by the Natives. Not so much for directly stealing from them. As a "fine artist", Clemente and the writer just chalk it up to "Appropriation", a lovely trend that dates back to the 1980's in the "fine arts". Something which always raised my eyebrows when I was in school studying painting.
I've always been a fan of Clemente's work, but now I wonder how much of it is actually from his own soul. Maybe the next time I get a job on how the environment is being decimated by pollution I'll draw a guy devouring a fish, all curled up just like this, and call it "appropriation". Whose lawyer will come after me? Probably not the natives'.