Re: about reproductions

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Posted by pancho ( on November 12, 2001 at 10:52:38:

In Reply to: about reproductions posted by campfire hero on November 11, 2001 at 20:31:34:

I always knew it took no artistic skill whatsoever to make strict reproductions. I got very good at good it hurt sales. In 1980 I showed several reproductions at an annual art fair in Chcago. I was living in New York at the time and travelled threr for the weekend. There were slots handed out all over downtown...mine was in the lobby of a very nice building right on the Miracle Mile. I had several ceramic reprodcutions, one of the soldier, another of the entire gate of Ishtar and the throne room wall of Nebukhadnazzer. I never put price tags on the pieces and mentioned nowhere that they were reproductions. All weekend people came by to admire and never asked more. The last day I got into a conversation with a gringo who was a history nut, especially where the Assyrians and babylonians were concerned. After chatting a bit he said the one thing he couldn{t figure was how they had allowed me display originals for such a festival.

The skill required to make good reproductions is definitely a skill of a high order that involves more than just copying but also recreating the finish and the effect of the original. But it is not an artistic talent...but the skill level does come in handy.

It{s like learning a language so well you can rattle off anything at all...but can you write poetry. That{s the issue and often a highly skilled person cant write the poetry...that{s when the test comes and that{s when most apprentices remain pedants...forvere good at technical things, but no more.

Everyone including me wondered and wonders if I can ever write poetry, I dont know. But I did have to make some prsonal choices when making the monuments and the portraits...there were enough actual portraits...there was no need to make exact copies all over again. This was the core of my argument with Fathead and Butthead and elements in the Chaldean community in Detroit who wanted an exact reproduction of Hammurabi.

I explained that it had already been done and wonderfully well...but even that was a stylized artistic one really looks like that. I told them a city did not want to give up its priceless landscape to a good reproduction of an original piece showcased in another city...and furthermore that it wouldn{t be an artistic venture then, just a matter how good a copy is, it is only a copy and we of all people have to stop making approximations and copies of everything...we have to stop coming pretty close to looking and acting like Human Beans and start doing the real thing...same with our art and culture.

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