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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 111 | volume  | January, 2017



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 111January, 2017

A Strange and Wonderful Synthesis

On Filip Fidanovski’s exhibition - Picasso; Maybe I… October 25, 2016, Museum of the City of Skopje, Skopje)

p. 1
Ana Martinoska


A Strange and Wonderful Synthesis

Translated into English by Ognen Cemerski

Good artists copy, great artists steal.
    Pablo Picasso

Picasso? Fidanovski, perhaps? Is it chiefly the former, or is it the latter, or are they both perhaps equally conspicuous? Or is it neither the former nor the latter, but rather some strange and wonderful synthesis? Serious provocative (identity) dilemmas arise already from the exhibition’s very title. When you look at the works, questions continue to arise one after another: How much of Picasso is there in these sculptures and how much of Fidanovski himself? Is it merely a matter of inspiration, of fascination, of dedication or is it something entirely different? Perhaps it is an attempt at imitation, or is it a form of pastiche,[1] backed by good PR tactics? What is the nature of the connection between the two artists in general and what is it that connects the two in this particular case? What is the idea/emotion behind these works? How was the selection made as to which of Picasso’s works were to be blended into new shapes? Where are the boundaries of allusion and wherein lies invention?
    The search for answers to these and many other questions that this exhibition by Filip Fidanovski raises with the Skopje audience first takes us to the essential reminder that art is known to have often been inspired by other art. Though we nowadays interpret this as a postmodernist process, references, quotes, collages, tributes, and even ironies, cynical takes and parodies on famous artworks have, in fact, always been parts of the history of art. Renaissance painters too paid tribute to ancient art, and the Dadaists mocked everything that had been produced before them. Suffice it to remind the readers of Duchamp’s toying with the cult of Mona Lisa, and of Andy Warhol with his pop-art parodies on da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper, or even of the inspirational creative connections in such pairs as Monet and Manet, Miró and Bosch, Lichtenstein and van Gogh, and many other great artists.
    In this vein, Picasso himself, already during his lifetime, but also to this day, was and remains an inspiration to other artists working in various genres, places and times. Some visual artists have been influenced by his cubism, others have found inspiration in his matchless variations of style, yet others in the experiments he made in every aspect of his painting, sculpture art, and


1. Pastiche is an artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources;

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