John H Howard
I AM-am I ?

I imagine most of the artists on these pages, even the cocky bastards getting all the plum jobs have had doubts about the validity of their work as art. Even Maestro Ed Sorel in this months VF says –“I’m a good illustrator, but I’m a better plagiarist.- I’m always suspicious of the worthiness of of my own ideas. But when I steal an idea from someone I admire, I know at least I’m working on something with a good pedigree.”

Very reassuring I thought.

With not much illustration coming my way I’m forced to face and obsess about my painting. About my recent attempts to re- float my sinking ego I wrote- There are no paintings being made today that don’t in some way or another, reference the work of others. Plagiarism is only acceptable when it’s acknowledged and can be comfortably and legitimately re-titled, appropriation. Making art is a dodgy business at the best of times and what crosses the the threshold from self indulgent picture making to certified fine art seems best left to border control by historians and critics. In this series of paintings I’ve attempted to by-pass the usual subject, meaning and process pitfalls and selectively burgle the art and design archives allowing these art magazine mash-ups to sneak by and sit amongst their revered and admired posher relatives.

Without further apology, some of the paintings and their ponderous titles.

urbane transmutation 184hx140w
Art News appropriation 76hx86w
picturesque scene with canine intervention 76hx102w
some casualties of selective displacement 230hx122w
adumbrated principals 76hx122w
annus horribilis 2006 60hx76w
Vermeer appended 77hx77w
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