Podcast 55 – Paraphrasing and Recreating Other Artists’ Images

Kristina and I have stumbled upon a new trend with our themed episodes of the podcast: They’re getting more difficult! That was certainly true of today’s episode.

Recreating the work of another artist – or “paraphrasing” as Kristina so aptly puts it – is something we both had experience with in our photography. I think it’s an excellent way to learn your craft (it’s actually a popular workshop exercise), test out new techniques, and engage with the art that you enjoy.

It may be a bit cliché, but I’ve found the old adage to be true: Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. To be inspired by an artist’s work so much that you want to recreate it for yourself, or put your own spin on it, can be both fun and creatively rewarding. What I find fascinating about it is that the level of mimicry varies from artist to artist, photo to photo, and transcends genres.

I may try to perfectly recreate a scene from a movie I loved, or take the core of the idea and put my own spin on it. Or perhaps you take the Four Bricks Tall approach, and attempt creating something new in the style of another artist.

In today’s podcast episode Kristina and I examined why we’re compelled to paraphrase or recreate the work of others, and our histories with the technique. We also received some amazing listener submissions, that you can check out below our images on this post.

My Image

For this challenge I decided to paraphrase rather than recreate, and use the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe by photographer Sam Shaw to tell a familiar story in a new setting.

Kristina’s Image

Kristina also put her own stamp on a famous photograph, recreating Christer Strömholm‘s 1988 photo of Jesus.

“Jesus” by Christer Strömholm
by Kristina Alexanderson

Listener Submissions

Janan Lee

Janan also decided to turn to religious imagery for his recreation. Check out his amazing technological update of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam.”

“The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo
“The (Re)Creation of Man” by Janan Lee, @spideygoeshygge

Here’s what Janan himself had to say about the image:

There are probably a number of layers to look at this. Although, the message I hope to show is despite the technological advancement of humankind in the quest for knowledge and progress, there still remains that deeper desire to converse with others in community and to connect in flesh.

Shelly Corbett

Shelly took this challenge a step further and recreated several photos in the style of photographer David Levinthal. I highly recommend you check out her blog post about the process, and the great discussion that continued into its comment section.

Recreation: Take Two

Now that we’ve attempted recreating the work of another artist, Kristina and I are embarking on what might be an even tougher challenge: Remaking one of our own images. Will we be able to recapture the same magic as the first go-around? I hope you’ll join us in finding out. If you’d like to participate and get the chance to have your work discussed on the show, upload your images to social media with the hashtag #tp_recreation and tag both myself (@thereeljames23 on Instagram) and Kristina (@kalexanderson), or email it to us directly at toyphotographypod@gmail.com.

We can’t wait to see what image you choose to remake!

Have you ever tried recreating another artist’s work? Why do you think we’re compelled to do so? What did you think of our recreations? Continue the discussion with us in the comments below!

-James

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4 Comments

  1. I almost remade the TRON: Legacy poster, but I ran out of time. Oh well. *shrug*

    Kristina, I found your image really interesting because, in his time, Jesus was seen as somewhat of a ‘stormtrooper’. Nobody believed that such an ordinary guy could be the Christ. No one would expect a stormtrooper to be something more, just as no one expected a simple carpenter to be the Savior of humanity.

    I gotta say, I had never seen the image that James recreated before this post. Never, ever ever. XD

    • kristina

      We look forward to see if you will have time to recreate one of your own images 😉
      That is so true that the man – the carpenter from Nasarus was just an ordinary man, like an ordinay soldier, or a Trooper in a galaxy far away. I like the fact that the costyme makes us see him as a victim of a galactic battle, but the pose is so conncted to the christian story about Jesus. Love it when work like that makes the viewer reflect. James image work the same way.
      thanks for listning and sharing your thoughts

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