I'm reminded of Abby Hoffmans' Steal This Book.You can steal a book, but stealing a painting is a whole nuther thing.Unless it's a museum heist of old master, it's uncommon. Not exactly shoplifting.
An exception would be looting, which was the dessert as first course when the Third Reich attempted to devour Europe.
Intentional copying, however, can be a learning technique, such as Van Goghs' copying of Millet and others. Or a teaching technique, where a student, with prior permission, can set up in front of a painting at the Met, or the Louvre, and learn by copying.
A procedure I would not aspire to under any circumstance.Then there is out and out copying, with someone elses' art tacked on the wall as reference, but given a few twists and turns in the hope that no one will notice.
An amateurs approach, and the painter is therefore destined to remain an amateur.
There are levels of influence in art. To be influenced by a teacher, by an artist you admire, by what you see and hear, and to filter the input is to eventually find your own way to express yourself. In a perfect world.
There is "After", or "Homage To" meaning to imitate a technique or subject and especially, acknowledge the source.
Come to think of it, I've never seen a painting with "after DaVinci" in the title.
(I'm not going to get into copyright issues etc at this point)The dirty word in art is plagiarize, from the Latin for kidnap. To pass off anothers' work as your own. In particular, in order to profit.
For those of us that have spent a lifetime learning and practicing and exploring and working to improve, knowing that the best painting is always the next one, plagiarism is particularly galling. Rise above it? Nah.
Since I've recently been involved in a venue that permitted it, even though it wasn't my painting, I've decided to opt out of any future involvement in said venue. So there.
Since this blog is about influence, inspiration and old masters, I'm inserting, for lack of a better idea, a favorite artist and a favorite painting, one of a series inspired by a cigar box.More on him next time.
Dutch Masters II Larry Rivers
Apropos of nothing in particular:
A note to Googles' GMAIL spell-checking dept: Although your suggestion to spell Van Gogh as Van Gosh, while accurate and amusing, is not something I'm going to do. Sophomoric.