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Inspiration or emulation?


This is my first post of the year, I hope you have had the best start and may 2023 bring you lots of inspiration and good light.

This year I would like to spend more time on my blog to share my photographic thoughts, projects, and telling images. I hope it will be a pleasant return to the origins of the blog.

In 2020 I wrote an article highlighting the bad habits of some photographers in shamelessly asking for advice and then making others' visions their own. Several times I have been asked to elaborate on this topic, so I hope to be comprehensive.

You can read the 2020 article by clicking here.

The strength of an author lies in the recognizability of his expressive style and personality, important trademarks obtainable with experience and innate artistic vein.

As I have written several times before, the images of an author, who makes photography his medium of expression, encapsulate metaphors and symbolic messages belonging to his life.

Remaining in the field of photography (but it is a discourse applicable to any discipline), with the advent of social media, especially on platforms that reward more immediacy at the expense of a 'careful reflection, there has been an unbridled race towards those <<5 minutes of fame>> – quoting A.Warhol that has disrupted the way of expressing oneself through images and that has led some characters to have a questionable approach, one among all the "artistic emulation." By artistic emulation, I mean that compendium of attitudes-such as photographic, design, commercial styles etc-that a character literally misappropriates from one or more artists, creating his own puppet artistic vision to achieve his own goals.

It is not a crime to be inspired by other authors, in fact it has been happening since the dawn of time that works and creativity of other artists inspire the general artistic vision during a historical context, this is decisive for the emergence of artistic currents and influences.

Without the innovations and creations of Masaccio, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raffaello, the art world would probably have remained tied to medieval stylistic traditions for some time yet, with subjects lacking volume and pathos, dynamism, lack of anatomical studies and perspective, and many pictorial techniques seen in the Renaissance would have taken longer to see the light of day.

Inspiration, then, is something positive that generates renewal in the art world – in general, including photography – and slowly creates new personal visions that often depart from the original vision. After Caravaggio, to remain in the art world, the entire 17th century experienced an incredible explosion of "Caravaggesque" artists,

nevertheless figures with incredible personalities emerged, one among them the great Artemisia Gentileschi known not only for the dramatic nature of her works, but also for her battles for gender rights. So even the artists of the past, despite the inspiration that influenced their art and the impositions of certain patronage and counter-orders, always managed to find their own stylistic path that set them apart.

It is evident how much even landscape photography is the result of a slow artistic transformation strongly influenced initially by the pillars of the genre – Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter – and then following the technological and social evolution generated in the last quarter century.

We can see how social networks have in part replaced, facilitated and modified part of the formative processes of contemporary artistic conception, creating new ways of sharing one's art, connecting artists and generating inspiration and contamination.

I myself admit that about a decade ago I became fascinated and inspired by the world of intimate photography by observing and admiring the images of Eliot Porter, Christopher Burkett, Charles Cramer etc.; over the years, however, I have found my own path and my own personal style with which to tell my images, but above all, photography has taken on an inner and metaphorical meaning, an expressive medium with which I tell my life thus detaching myself from the pure aesthetic exercise as an end in itself.

However, there is a clear difference between inspiration and imitation, in fact the latter does not create any artistic influence and feeds on the creative and personal vision of others.

Basing one's photographic journey on the visions of others shows a total lack of artistic sensibility and personality, not to mention that very often there is an underlying total naturalistic disinterest. Stealing and replicating for one's own personal interests the artistic vision of an author means appropriating his ideas, memories, feelings and emotions; at the same time it also means depriving oneself of embarking on a constructive personal path and giving vent to one's creativity.

All this affects the credibility of a photographic genre that bases its existence on the author's personality – through nature and the camera – rather than on the aesthetics of the landscape. In the Intimate landscape even a not-so-beautiful element can become an integral part of an evocative image thanks to the photographer's interpretation and personality, but if to confuse the ideas we find behind the camera – or behind Photoshop? – a "cloner" of styles and personalities also very good at bewitching his audience through aseptic and impersonal photography, this photographic genre that bases its foundation on genuineness, creativity and sensitivity, loses all meaning and appeal.

It takes years to achieve goals, create one's own photographic vision, seek new ideas, new clients and build new languages through a slow and long experience where failures and problems help one grow both artistically and humanly.

My outburst is an invitation to those who are in good faith and need to seek their own creative and expressive path. Let yourself be inspired but don't become someone's clone, get rid of any stereotypical pressure of the trends of the moment and turn your innermost and deepest thoughts into images; give more importance to your instincts, photography is not a competition where whoever comes first wins, the 'only victory here is the achievement of your own personal artistic vision.

And what do you think? Write the thought in the comments section



E' il mio primo post dell'anno, spero tu abbia iniziato nel miglior dei modi e che il 2023 possa portarti tanta ispirazione e tanta buona luce.

Quest'anno vorrei dedicare più tempo al mio blog per condividere i miei pensieri fotografici, progetti e raccontare immagini. Spero sia un piacevole ritorno alle origini del blog.

Nel 2020 ho scritto un articolo in cui evidenziavo le cattive abitudini di alcuni fotografi nel chiedere spudoratamente consigli per poi far diventare proprie le visioni altrui. Più volte mi è stato chiesto di approfondire l'argomento, spero quindi di essere esaustivo.

Puoi leggere l'articolo del 2020 cliccando qui.

La forza di un autore sta nella riconoscibilità del suo stile espressivo e della sua personalità, importanti marchi di fabbrica ottenibili con esperienza e vena artistica innata.

Come ho già scritto diverse volte le immagini di un autore, che fa della fotografia il suo mezzo espressivo, racchiudono metafore e messaggi simbolici appartenenti alla sua vita.

Rimanendo in ambito fotografico (ma è un discorso applicabile ad ogni disciplina), con l'avvento dei social, sopratutto su piattaforme che premiano maggiormente l'immediatezza a discapito di un' attenta riflessione, vi è stata una corsa sfrenata verso quei <<5 minuti di fama>> – citando A.Warhol – che ha sconvolto il modo di esprimersi attraverso le immagini e che ha portato alcuni personaggi ad avere un approccio discutibile, uno fra tutti l' "emulazione artistica". Per emulazione artistica intendo quel compendio di attitudini – quali stili fotografici, progettuali, commerciali etc – che un personaggio trafuga letteralmente ad uno o più artisti, creando una propria visione artistica fantoccia per raggiungere propri obiettivi.

Non è un crimine ispirarsi ad altri autori, anzi succede dalla notte dei tempi che opere e creatività di altri artisti ispirino la visione artistica generale durante un contesto storico, ciò è determinante per la nascita di correnti ed influenze artistiche.