Oh the Art I've Seen

Pier 29 by Jeremy Mangan

Last night found me out and about for First Thursday Arts Walk in Pioneer Square. I initially hadn't planned on going  (was going to stay home and work on art rather than look at art) but some friends coaxed me out and I tagged along. And I am so glad I did. 

I saw some really great works this month including a fresh show by John Osgood, some mixed media that made me laugh by Tom Reed plus some new ones at Davidson Gallery by Lisa Sweet who I had studied with briefly at Evergreen. 
Stealing Pie by Tom Reed

But the work that stopped me in my tracks was "Pier 29" by Jeremy Mangan. A month ago I had a dream about houses with nothing under them - a string a beach cottages suspended over a ravine where the land had given way. They were held together by delicate suspension bridge walkways. I even sketched it out in my journal! Upon walking into Linda Hodges Gallery I immediately pulled my little sketchbook out to show the friends I was with. That little sketch - not much more than a bleary eyed pencil line upon waking had been flagged by me as a possible new series to explore. 

Now I am faced with a question. Do I continue forth with explorations of this idea? Or is my muse now satisfied that I have seen such a similar concept executed so brilliantly? It is the age old question of art inspiration and the collective unconscious. The friend I was with immediately pointed out that it was rather obvious why I would have such an image embedded in my dreams due to the recent events in my life... so I still feel a strong claim to the image in my head as my own. Yet I'm no longer sure if I feel as compelled to execute my own version of it. I kind of just wish I could purchase Jeremy Mangan's!

I'm curious as to what you think - if you had sketched out an idea and then right after seen that idea portrayed in another artists work, would you still go forward with creating your own? Perplexing indeed.


Betsy said...

I think it's ok to go for it. yours will end up looking completely different because you have a different style & as you explore the imagery you'll end up in a different place with your series than he did. just my opinion. xo.

Kristen said...

I agree with Betsy, but I so appreciate you sharing this, because I often feel the same way, like if someone else already did it, why should I? And in this world full of people, there is often someone who has already done it - but not quite like *you* will do it! I hope you go for it and create something only you could create with that idea.