Anon-Artist and Katsushika Hokusai

I have come across a very interesting artist who is taking well known paintings and reimagining them to create environmental messages. I was drawn to the artist when researching ways to incorporate art gathered from participating artists and public members as my project expands and the hashtag and Instagram feed becomes public. The way the artist has bought recognisable pieces of art and given them a new sense of purpose but also an up to date relevance in the modern world is seemingly effortless.

In the image below we see Katsushika Hokusai’s Under the Wave off Kanagawa, also called The Great Wave has become one of the most famous works of art in the world—and debatably the most iconic work of Japanese art. Initially, thousands of copies of this print were quickly produced and sold cheaply. Despite the fact that it was created at a time when Japanese trade was heavily restricted.

I feel this is something I could bring forward in my own work, this idea of having an image that is open to the public to print and display how they see feel fit. It would be a good social experiment on how many people are taking the environmental aspect into thinking when looking at my work. People who simply print the image on high gloss non-recycled paper etc. would be missing the point of making this image free to use, the idea would be people stored it on computers and enjoyed it without the need to print keep and store the image as a physical object, retaining that nobody owns this image, by keeping it on a digital platform we share and enjoy the experience of owning the art together.

The image below is from the anonymous artist who has reinterpreted Katsushika Hokusai’ work. The image depicts the original painting with pieces of plastic placed on the image to represent the plastic waste in our oceans. The construction of the image from using an copy not a repainted image is rather interesting. Has the artist played on the easily assessable nature of this print and used this to his advantage, not having to spend time creating a piece just simply adding his mark.

I would like to explore this further within aspects of my own work, as mentioned in my presentation my idea of authenticity is changing and my perception on ownership is also. Could images that are created using my work and other artists reimagined versions of them take this project to new levels socially and visually. But would this also be a viable avenue to explore in the guidelines of Falmouth’s marking criteria. Who is the author anyway?


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