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Art From Art

An exploration of the Amarillo Museum of Art permanent collection reveals several inspired examples of art from art.

There is no history of art without borrowing, which is a practice as old as art itself. Much can be learned from the art and artists that have borrowed from one another for centuries, whether through inspiration, appropriation, or reproduction. For instance, most of what we know of the ancient Greeks is through Roman copies of classical Greek sculpture. Similarly, an exploration of the AMoA permanent collection reveals several in

spired examples of art from art.

Born in Venezuela, artist Arturo Correa moved to the United States in 1989 to study art and begin his career. Correa’s father was a surgeon and his mother was a psychologist, and their debates about health and human behavior deeply influenced the artist’s work, encouraging him to offer a different way in which to view the world.

Infanta Sofia is one of 20 works created as part of his Celebrating Mythology series. Informed by Venezuelan heritage and pre-Columbian culture, this panting borrows the shape of the title figures from Diego Velasquez’s Las Meninas, creating a contemporary interpretation by flattening the form, removing perspective, and combining the historic figure with text. Inscribed in the thick paint is the Spanish word “cuando” which translates to “when” in English, and can also serve as a commentary on the infanta’s ambiguous place in time.

Few paintings in art history have prompted as many questions or inspired as many artists as Diego Velasquez’s Las Meninas. The enigmatic group of characters can be found in Picasso’s 1957 painting The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas, after Velasquez), a cubist style recreation of the iconic work. The shape of the central figure is also mimicked in Meninas, 2002, a series of three dimensional bronze sculptures by Manolo Valdez that grace the sidewalks of the art district of Bilboa, Spain. Also inspired by Velasquez, Las Meninas by artist Simone Leigh uses terra cotta, raffia, and porcelain to address issues of race, beauty, and the female form as they relate to African traditions.

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