Influence and Originality

Inseparable ?


I always what to know, What is originality ? How to define originality ?

As for me, I think the things from your minds, the things create by yourself, all of them are originality. But, there is another question: how can you create something without be influenced ?

For example, the choreography of contemporary dance. At the first, contemporary dance is a kind of “Freedom Dance”. It is different with other kind of dance, there is no strict music requirements, actions requirements and costume requirements. When you create this kind of dance, you will be easy be affected by the things outside your dance. Like, a very familiar music, some actions you learned from others but you already remember in you mind or your emotions. Therefore, I think originality and influence are inseparable.



(Influence and Originality,Connie Imbonden)


To be influenced is to engage so deeply with a piece, with a work of art, that it becomes part of you, infecting your point of view, challenging values or just becoming a catalyst for opening yourself to greater experiences. Francis Bacon, the 20th-century British painter, one of my most personally treasured artists, was heavily influenced and inspired by the 17th-century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez and had a reproduction of his “Portrait of Pope Innocent X” hanging in his studio when he made his “Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X”. Not only was he influenced by the elements in the composition, such as the throne, the robes, and the posture of the Pope but also by the Pope’s facial expression and gestures. The darkness implied in Velázquez’s Pope has been transformed into articulated agony in Bacon’s version. There is no subtle anguish but, instead, loud and clearly expressed emotional torture. Through his engagement and encounter with Velázquez’s painting, Bacon created a portrait of Pope Innocent X that is undeniably his own. His powerful ability to communicate emotion through his application of paint, his choice of colours, and his way of making marks on the canvas leaves no doubt that this painting was made by Francis Bacon. While clearly influenced by Velázquez, the result is, without question, original.


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