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I guess I take slight offense to this because when I work I have to have a reference myself. I can't just say, "I'm going to paint a woman in a chair." and set out to paint it. Nope, I've got to have a photograph or some kind of image to refer to. I envy artists who can draw from memory (my father is one of those people), but taking inspiration from a photograph doesn't make the art unworthy. I find his paintings beautiful. And it's not as if he took the photograph itself and called it his own. Now that would be overstepping a bit.
I guess in the gallery statement it was said that he drew from his experiences, and it didn't source his references. That is the only issue I have. I try to give credit where credit is due. Usually when I paint from a photograph I alter my image enough that the original bears likeness but it doesn't look like a copy. Even still, if there is a person to credit, I will. I've got some paintings that I'm working on at the present that are based on old photographs from magazines. Reason being is I love the image, and I want to create a work of art that pays homage to it. I want to make it my own. Plus, most of the images I find are in dusty corners, and I'd love for more people to see them, so painting using them as a reference gets them noticed. Does that make sense?
Another issue that I have with art is people that try to say what is or isn't. To me, it's a completely subjective. I personally don't understand most contemporary art. I'm not going to state "That's not art." But I might say, "That's not art, to me." That's my opinion. I like art that shows work. It can be abstract, but I want to see what the artist was doing. Others may find my work dull, or imperfect, but I'm proud of what I create. I'm sure Dylan feels the same way. He obviously is doing what he loves, and I admire him for that. For anybody to say his art isn't art, I'd like to ask them exactly what art is.