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Banksy and friends exhibition at 34FineArt Gallery
The ‘Emulate’ exhibition revisits the concept of controversy in Woodstock
The aptly-titled group exhibition ‘Emulate’ is showing at the 34FineArt Gallery in Woodstock, Cape Town from Tuesday, 21 August until Saturday, 8 September. Featuring work by famous graffiti guerrilla artist Banksy, as well as other international greats, the exhibition is set to challenge the very concept of “art” by basing its conceptual framework on the notion of imitation.
The exhibition is comprised of new works which reference existing works by other well-known artists. The concept behind this showcase lies in the idea that all art is created by “revisiting” seen-before themes. The idea says that no art can truly be original anymore, and that, perhaps, the creativity of true artists lies in their ability to use, modify and adapt existing material as their own.
This hypothesis suggests that “novelty” is not essential in creating art, and that all artwork is in some way already second generation - in the way that it references past source material. Furthermore, the notion suggests that the crux of a worthy piece of work lies in the individual process - be it the third or fourth impression of the same content by a new artist.
In illustration, here, on exhibition, ‘Flower Thrower’ by Banksy, has been reinterpreted by Eyesaw from London.
As one can imagine, the exhibition straddles a thin line, with artistic freedom and intellectual property infringement on either side. Some would argue that the difference between a direct copy and a new creation could be lost, thus obfuscating what is and what is not legally acceptable.
Yet in today’s digital age, this is a pertinent issue that demands some consideration, and perhaps even redefinition. The “theft” of images in the fast moving digital world through social media's global reach has accelerated the process of alteration and duplication rapidly. With the convenience and speed of the internet, artists “reference” existing artworks more so now than ever. This begs for new and current parameters to be defined lest the laws of plagiarism be left with the ink-tipped feather-pens of yesteryear.
The concept explored in this exhibition – to emulate, imitate or “recreate” - is a global phenomenon seen in many different forms today. From artistic, environmentally-friendly movements - such as “Upcycling” - to the endless stream of sequels and remakes Hollywood is pumping out, perhaps it is an idea – like it or not, worth investigating.
The Group Exhibition ‘Emulate’ Features:
- Mr Brainwash
- Takashi Murakami
- Damien Hirst
- Mau Mau
- Alec Monopoly
- Nancy Fouts
Like with the blooms of spring, ‘Emulate’ will explode on 34FineArt’s walls with vibrance, vigour and excitement, at no cost. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday at 10.30am-4.30pm and on Saturdays from 10.30am – 1.30pm.
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By Aisling Holmes