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Copying is part of artistic practice

I refer to Deepika Shetty's article, Too Similar (Life, Feb 27), in which it was suggested that Filipino artist Monica Delgado's paintings bore stylistic and textural similarities to Singaporean artist Jane Lee's work because both artists use thick layers of paint to create a tactile, fabric-like effect.

In post-modern art, quoting from another artist is perfectly acceptable. Appropriation, bricolage and pastiche involve borrowing from a variety of visual sources and reinterpreting them in the artist's own style.

Historically, in the field of painting, artists have always copied from and been influenced by other artists.

In Chinese painting, students learn by copying the works of their masters. There was a period when Cubist artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque produced paintings so similar that it was difficult to tell them apart.

American artist Andy Warhol has inspired countless copycats of his pop-art style.

Jeffrey Say Seck Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2016, with the headline 'Copying is part of artistic practice'. Print Edition | Subscribe