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Re: The Knight analogy




On 18 Mar 2011, at 03:42, GSP1954@aol.com wrote:

Let’s do a little historical thought analogy here.

Some have claimed that it is not right for me to civilly insist (see my 3/3 posting) that others not use my regular side view skeleton and life pose.
Not all mind you, a number have kindly agreed with the request.

I don't think Greg you should fear that anybody will not heed your request from now on.

I think this discussion has arisen mostly based on a confusion. Your work can be neatly differentiated to my eyes: your "art" pieces and your "referential" scientific work. And the definition of what is art comes also to the fore. Most (if not all) never considered that your skeletal restorations were quite "art", they were "science", It was not to be considered "art" even if some people find the diagram of a skeleton "artistic" and despite all the admittedly important and consuming work that it entails to do the reconstructions.

Now we learn that they are really to be taken as "art" and we all should be careful to take them for granted at the scientific level. Granted that they were never taken as "watertight, sealed, unquestionable science" but you yourself claimed so many times that you were teaching people how to reconstruct accurately dinosaurs that everybody took your word for it. Bad move! But remember that in the early 90's when people like Feduccia and other academics try to deride your work because you were "just an artist" (the reasons were obviously >other<) for many of us you were a scientist FIRST and then an artist, and we based our defense of your work in your referential pieces and your zeal for accuracy.

Scientific work is normally considered a bit like "maps"... for most people use maps and follow them and copy them (keeping eyes open of course) but not thinking of the maps as Picasso's paintings. That is the "mistake" most have done in good faith . Just like I said about Mike Taylor's work (and so many others)... neither of them claim to have the monopoly of their restorations of of their technical work, but alas, they don't >also< do oil or acrylic originals, or graphite pieces that must be considered unquestionably your artwork and your artwork only.

So I think if this discussion has been healthy to the extent that should exclude the release of generalized paranoia, arrogant tone and insults that it has unleashed. With reason and without.

One thing that I do not agree at all with is the pinning of the guns versus the young artists... who can think that young artists >have the duty< to charge huge amounts of money for their work... what is pretended by that? Keep the competition at bay so the veteran or star paleoartists can reclaim their mastery by privileged default? The main advice to novices and would-be paleoartists is not putting them off saying: "you are going to starve" or "you are going to take my job copying me and doing the jobs cheap" but more: "what new do you have to say?" "what do you have to contribute to the field?" I never started getting into paleontology because I wanted to get rich, but because I had the passion and interest or it.

It would be interesting to do an own profile: if one's aims as an artist or as a paleontologist start by thinking of "what is marketable" and then follow a career of pretended "lucre" in Paleoart (?), well, we deserve all we get in a market-based society. Some might be lucky of course, but you are nothing but a merchant or a producer of commodities; and the regulations there are simply depending on the market value, nothing else. A bit of what is happening to music and so many other art forms these days... But if one's follow his or her passion or true interest to the best of our abilities, have something to say, and are convinced that their labour is something else than simple mercantilism, we might (be loved or be hated by it) carve a niche. To create could also mean a lot of the time a good deal of suffering unfortunately. Obviously you cannot carve a niche without a reasonable economic support. Yes, the fact that we have to pay the bills and have to compete in a world that is brutal (and we know for a fact that all the best jobs are most probably going to go to the best "political" manipulators, not even the "best" in the field) should be secondary to pursuing your passions... if not, you better go on and be a banker, a politician, a celebrity or a member of the mafia.

But personally, my guns are pinned against all those companies that really act as tyrants, exploit us and under-pay us, hijack our work and even modify it without permission... NOT against genuine budding paleoartists that might suddenly become "competition" (that in the long term is inevitable... although if you are original and liked enough, your own style is what publishers will be after... that is if you are still reasonable with your prices and not have "Star" pretensions or status). I'm also against those companies that do not allow the artistic freedom necessary for developing your own kind of dinoart, you niche. I'm against all those companies that demand you follow or copy the style of other artists... and I'm obviously against those companies and institutions that take for granted that you are going to work for free just because they want you to (or just because it seems like an honour to publish in one of their publications).

It is mandatory that paleoartists receive at least reasonable economic support for their efforts. At the same time, it is impossible and castrating that the veteran, more established artists demand that newcomers start charging huge amounts of money for their works... penalizing them for taking >their< jobs and accusing them of "selling themselves cheap"...

It is also important for the veteran artists that all the passionate, talented young paleoartists get carved their own niche. Why? Because uncomfortable overlapping becomes less an issue and >variety< and >originality< may become the norm. Copycats and "overlapping" competing styles may be inevitable as has always been in all the arts I know, but maybe quality and survival skills can be combined and we all can find that elusive niche where competition is kept to a minimum or at least to a healthy level. There's room for everybody if we manage to act with some intelligence. And I'm not going to include any social-darwinist garbage here...

Greg... you created a science graphic platform, a school from where an >informed< variety of artists could arise. And that was going to be always risky...


Luis Rey

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http://www.luisrey.ndtilda.co.uk