Picasso: “Great artists steal.” So I…

…stole. A copy of Smithsonian Magazine was open to an ad for the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of Ken Burns’s THE ROOSEVELTS. The cover of the items for sale was photo-based but with an anachronistic twist. I initially wanted to do some portrait practice on Franklin, but I ended up doing them all, pencil-reporting and preserving (stealing) the positioning and the anachronism. I did try to add a little more inner beauty to Eleanor, a little more wide-eyed goodtobehere to Franklin, and a little more walrus to Theodore.


I also stole the design of the cover of a memo book produced by Mead Products, LLC, but only to the end of getting some black background, the amazing letter string “memo,” about which more later, and the occlusion of “Mead” so that it might also say something else, like “Meanderlust” or “Meant Not To Be.” Art critics love stuff like that, based on historical evidence, but, honest, folks, I did it because it was the right thing to do!

As to “memo,” not only does it start such magical words as Memorial and Memoirist, it also splits into “me mo,” which is falseghetto for “I want more.”

I don’t think there’s a very high probability that I’ve created a great work of art with this, but I hope it and this annotation give satisfation as something more than portraiture exercise. I wanted to illustrate through caricatured example that what we think of as ART requires more than what the artist does on paper or canvas or stone or sheetmetal; it also requires the thoughts and opinions of others in the Art Business.

For the record, I don’t think stealing makes me a Great Artist. Hard work, skewed thoughtlines, and perseverance MAY do that. It is for others to judge my worth.

Lastly, I’ll steal a terrific seven words from Allen Ginsberg:

“I forbid you not to touch me.”

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