I recently visited the Lichtenstein exhibition at Tate Modern. This was a wonderful opportunity to see a comprehensive collection of artworks from one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, when Lichtenstein made his break-through with paintings inspired by comic strips and advertising imagery, it provoked sensation and outrage. Lichtenstein’s Pop Art concepts certainly raised many questions, especially on the debate of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, and how he had combined the two to create his iconic paintings. Is it copying? Perhaps it is… Artists have always drawn inspiration from the work of other artists, but my belief is that each time the artist will bring something new and slightly different to their work. Every artist needs a starting point, and for Lichtenstein it was imitating techniques used in comic books and magazine advertisements – an artist’s response to painting in an age of mass media and mechanisation.
Over the last few weeks since my visit to the Lichtenstein show, it has certainly been a trigger for questions about my own art. Visiting exhibitions of other artists can provide a platform for inspiration of new thoughts and ideas. I have found myself to be in a more pensive mood. I feel like I am at the crossroads pondering on which direction to take. Where am I going with this? I am searching for new motivation and inspiration. I need time to explore, experiment and express myself as an artist. Perhaps I have too many exhibitions and events coming up this year requiring the need to produce artworks, together with the planning and organising that goes with this process? It can be challenge to get this balance right. I have new projects that I am keen to start developing, and part of this is just getting out there and confronting this challenge of the new and unknown. I need to abandon my comfort-zone and find that freedom of spirit!
As an artist working in the isolated environment of the studio, it is important to be able to share thoughts and ideas with other artists, friends and family… so here I share these thoughts with you. Please feel free to comment – I would love to hear what you have to say.