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What Does It Mean To Be Original?

Updated: Jun 17

The word original has many different interpretations. Some would say that to be original is to do something that has never been done before, Others might think of the original as being the first presentation or the unveiling.

Why Is The Date Of An Artwork Important?

"a work of a pioneer or a follower."

Every art movement is a wave, first, the groundbreaking pioneers, the origin of the avant-garde art movement, then comes the second generation's validation of the ideas of the pioneers and spreading the wave into the art community, after a period of time the purity of the art movement starts to fade and turn into a precursor from which new ideas and concepts start to develop.

The abstraction wave evoked by theosophical society in the early 20th century started with the groundbreaking works of its pioneers Hilma Af Klimt, Wassily Kandinsky, and Piet Mondrian. After the three pioneers, the second generation represented by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning...etc.

Knowing the artwork's creation date of an oil painting is important because it simply enables the viewer to classify the piece of art within the art wave at the time as a work of a pioneer or a follower.

An Original Style Of An Artist

"Skill and time required to establish this style."

"Techniques Are The Pathways Of The Artist To Create An Artwork."

Creating art in a remarkably distinguishable way so the viewer knows who is the artist even without Looking at the signature is a step forward in creating original art.

The style starts with the techniques of the artist, whether it was classical multilayered artwork or a direct painting with a single layer of thick paint on the canvas, it also includes the color, was it realistic tones or fictional tones out of the realistic spectra, don't mention skill and time required to establish this style.

In oil painting, the tools the artist used to apply the paint on the surface of the canvas record everything, the brushstrokes on the canvas record the pathways the artist walks through to get the artwork out from none to existence, any new technique the artist developed is considered a step forward.

Picasso's Guernica is not Original!

"Guernica 1937 vs Allegory of war 1638"

In 1937 Pablo Picasso Painted Guernica, a large oil painting on canvas. It is one of his best-known works, regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history, it is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.

Pablo Picasso inspired by Peter Paul Rubens, in the antiwar Guernica vs Allegory of war similarity in the composition is clear, with simplification and abstraction of details Picasso introduced the Allegory of war in a new style.

To be original is relative, some paintings are original in introducing a new style, composition, color tones, techniques or even being non-subjective like Hilma Af Klint's abstract paintings.

Guernica 1937 Pablo Picasso
Guernica 1937 Pablo Picasso

Allegory of war 1638 Peter Paul Rubens
Allegory of war 1638 Peter Paul Rubens

Original composition

"Heterogenous vs Homogenous Artwork"

The utilization of the two-dimensional space on a canvas, the interaction between the artwork subjects and the background, the color palette, and the utilization of light transitions and contrasted shadows all these elements target the capture of the viewer's eyes and enhance the delivery of the artist's message.

To achieve a successful composition is not easy and depends on the artist's ability to gather subjects, colors, and light to create a unique homogeneous or heterogeneous artwork, sometimes achieving an emotionally effective heterogenous artwork is much harder than a homogenous piece of art.

Creating an artwork that is purely innovative in all its aspects is not easy. but any step forward in the Art world boundaries is considered to be an original step.

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