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?

2 thoughts on “Art Imitating Art”

  1. “Perceiving reality through others’ perceptions instead of actually seeing it for ourselves.”

    A good description of what art is about, followed by a very good question, one which I have been asking myself a lot lately.

    Art, for me, is a way of seeing. And, more so recently, a way of communicating, a way of engaging a speaker and a listener, so that the art happens just as much in that exchange as it does in the way an artists shapes his or her vision, be it in images or words.

    It used to be that it was enough for me to be caught by the ways in which art saw … in forms, images, and words. But lately, I am more interested in the ways in which art captures not its own monument to creation, but the world.

    I would rather that art enlarge my perception of the world than that of the nature of art. But that’s just me, not because I want all my art to be a representation of reality, but an instrument of the Good … or a love for and towards the world.

    Anyway… I think that what you went through here with your chicken statue and the chicken scratching in the dirt is a bit of the chicken-and-the-egg question. In a way, that statue hatched the question and the live chicken brought the answer home to roost … because both chickens taught you something about both art and chickens, it seems.

    Sorry to have held forth for so long here … but the question you posed is one of my favorites — not to mention latest obsession.

  2. Takes a special person to collect rare chickens.

    In my opinion, your photograph more closely captured the essence of chicken. It’s the extended foot. The chicken is incomplete in the statue because it doesn’t have the extended foot.

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