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November 28, 2016

Khoi Vinh: The Underestimated Merits of Copying Someone Else’s Work

"This got me thinking about the value of copying. In this day and age, copying in any artistic pursuit is taboo. Culturally, economically and legally we emphasize the new and the novel, if not the original, and we look down on copying as lazy and ethically bereft. And rightly so; there’s nothing to redeem the act of copying another work and presenting it as your own.

"On the other hand, there’s a compelling case to be made for copying as a learning technique. It’s a time honored form of learning and apprenticeship in painting, for example; if you’ve ever visited an art museum you’ve probably seen art students with easels and palettes literally reproducing canvases from the great masters."

See also: Good Artists Copy