Scenius touches on this concept that nobody is an island and we are all predisposed to borrow from groups or the whole of society to create our own supposed genius and some are just better at it than others.
Picasso is a good example and if you pay close attention you will find that many artists, musicians etc… became successful partly because of their ability to copy, borrow, embellish and steal other peoples ideas.
In Picasso’s case he seemed very good at adapting his own style to the flavor of his time while reproducing images prolifically and with tenacity. His highly developed skills as an artist cannot be overlooked and yet it was his curiosity and constant drive to find new sources of inspiration that sealed his ultimate success.
All artists borrow and many don’t realize it because we all retrieve things that we have seen and have been buried in our subconscious, sometimes for years. I am no different because I am online everyday looking at art and hundreds upon hundreds of photographs to grab some inspiration from for my next piece or series of paintings. When it comes to inspiration my tastes are somewhat refined, refined in respect to specific elements I am looking for or find particularly interesting. I have developed a discerning eye for picking out appropriate elements for my work which I can’t exactly tell you because they are more about an intuitive sensibility than specific tangible objects—much in the same way I approach my painting. Picasso knew, just to borrow an idea wasn’t enough it was pushing concepts as far as they could go which in turn generated new art, paintings, drawings and sculpture unique to him. Good artists always experiment, pushing things to a breaking point.
Back to Scenius—This idea of collective consciousness is nothing new, it is in our nature as human beings to borrow and steal—terrible words really, I’d rather call it influence because with out the influence of other cultures and historical references our growth as a race is doomed. We simply can’t move forward as human beings without having 7.5 billion points of view thrusting us forward.
My choice as an artist and a person is to create what feels right, where it comes from is less important as I grow older and I surf the net.