Outrageous Outrage of the Day!
Michelle Malkin is saving us from the evil racist artwork choices of the Obamas, by noting that an abstract painting by African American artist Alma Thomas bears a strong resemblance to a collage by Henri Matisse — and labeling it plagiarism! Michelle Malkin » Do the Watusi: Art, imitation, and the Obamas.
In the years prior to her arthritic attack, and especially after an exhibition of Matiss’e gouache collages opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1961, she had been looking closely at the work of the French artist. Despite her resistance to overt Afrocentricity, Thomas was hardly immune to the pride most African Americans took in the civil rights struggle that began in the later 1950s. Not surprisingly, her intellectual activism was stated in the language of abstraction. This may be demonstrated by comparing her Watusi (Hard Edge) … with Matisse’s collage L’Escargot.
It’s right there in front of them; Alma Thomas’s painting was a deliberate “riff” on the Matisse collage, and it says that explicitly in the catalog — and still they’re accusing it of being a cheap plagiaristic copy!
Artists do this all the time. They copy, alter, re-work, and re-imagine existing pieces of art. Calling it “plagiarism” absolutely takes the cake — a triple layer stupid-food cake with idiot frosting and little chunks of dried moronfruit.
Here are the two pieces side by side — Alma Thomas’s Watusi (Hard Edge) on the left, and Henri Matisse’s L’Escargot on the right.