Art Imitating Art

It’s hard to go to Doug’s house and ignore the rare chickens that wander the gardens, particularly since Doug can tell you the history of each of the breeds.

So, after taking several pictures of flowers, I found my camera lens pointed at chickens:

After I’d spent nearly a half hour trying to take pictures of chickens who desperately wanted to avoid Gavin, and, most of all, Lael, I finally settled for a chicken statue that seemed more willing to pose for the camera lens:

What really surprised me, though, was that when I got home and started examining the pictures I discovered that ten minutes after I took the picture of the chicken statue I took this picture of a real chicken:

I was amazed at how closely this picture resembled the statue. If a student had turned it in, I probably would have accused him of plagiarism, yet there certainly was no conscious effort on my part to try to take a picture that resembled the statue. In fact, I didn’t really remember taking the picture of the statue until I reviewed the pictures in Photoshop.

Hopefully, it’s merely that the sculptor so successfully captured the “essence? of chicken, that it was inevitable that some of my pictures would have a very similar pose.

But I’m not convinced that subconsciously I wasn’t trying to emulate the statue. Art imitating art. Perceiving reality through others’ perceptions instead of actually seeing it for ourselves.

Does art make us perceive reality more fully or does it merely dictate the way we perceive it?