Inspiration works in mysterious and synchronistic ways. It seems to have a mind of it’s own, and a will to spread. It struck me as a good subject to launch this blog, Transfixed. Basically when Luther’s work, or process, or preparation, or anything really, inspires me to write, we’ll post here.
A few days ago we heard from Luther’s friend, Emil Schildt, with a “confession.” A while back he had seen an image of Luther’s on this site, and although he wasn’t able to find it again, he “couldn’t let it go.” He remembered that the model was posed on a rock, and that he had been reminded of the shimmering quality of light in the work of Anders Zorn. Ultimately, he made a painting of the impression it left him with. We sent him to the Nude page, so he could find the specific image of Luther’s, and asked to see his painting, which he quickly sent along.
As soon as we saw his beautiful painting, we were able to guess that Emil’s inspiration had been Luther’s 2013 “Homage to Rodin” 12x18 ambrotype on ruby glass. As you can guess by the title, this work had also been inspired by another artist: Auguste Rodin. Luther says he was struck that Rodin’s models don’t seem to be perched on pedestals, but appear to emerge organically out of the rock from which they are carved. Probably, there is a name for this technique, but I’m not aware of it. Hopefully in the images below you can see what Luther is talking about.
I could draw these lines of inspiration out in infinite directions. Stopping here is essentially arbitrary, and frankly hard to do, because there are so many more images I’d love to post and connections I’d like to link. But I wanted to make sure to circle back to Emil’s use of the word “confession.” I think a lot of us would agree that drawing inspiration from another artist’s work can make us feel guilty, like we’re copycats or plagiarists. When I follow the trail of inspiration like this though, it seems much more like a ‘Divine Spark’ than anything to be ashamed of. What do you think?