Sunday, February 15, 2015

Thinking about art, sampling and Kandinsky

In searching for content related to quite possibly my favorite painter, Vasily Kandinsky, I've come across some great finds:

Helen Mirren speaking on Kandinsky's paintings (with a lovely Bach "Invention" musical score; Mirren interviewed at MOMA)


NPR Podcast on the Life and Work of Kandinsky


Art Story page on Kandinsky

itunes podcasts on Kandinsky's book, written in 1912, on the Spiritual in Art


Here is a work of Kandinsky's that I sample often in my work.  I love the strong geometric lines and symbols.  I love the colors, the chaos, and the organization.  I never get enough of taking this piece apart and studying a bit here, a bit there.

Composition viii, 1923


Those who know my work for Artomat know that I sample my favorite art influences all the time.  I do this in a visual medium, but I recently found a TED talk by British music producer (and NY DJ) Mark Ronson ("Uptown Funk") on music sampling in the digital (or even post-digital) age.  


His talk is excellent, and Clarice and I really enjoyed his insights.  After watching it, we talked about how every artist, whether dramatic, visual or musical, takes what he loves (his influences) and re-interprets that art in a way that honors the original.


Ronson explains precisely what he means in his excellent verbal delivery, but his musical demonstrations provide the best teaching on the subject of sampling.


Those concerned with infringement, plagiarism and denial of authenticity miss the point of his speech:  there is no art without the artists who come before us.  We stand on the shoulders of our artistic ancestors.



"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." -- Charles Caleb Colton, 1820, Lacon


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