Art within Art or Stealing Art?

Every great city has great galleries and museums. Some will ask you to keep your camera silent, others will allow you to roam where you wish with your camera in hand. I have always found these to be wonderful sources of imagery and an inspiration to photograph. People move slowly, enthralled by walls hung with history and painted by gods. Lost in their own world of adulation and critique, they see nothing else. Easy prey for me to capture.

Within these great buildings, I have my favourite people. People who never move, lovers entwined in a static embrace, lost limbs no scar on their beauty, children forever children, innocent and forever innocent, still and forever still. People older than the great buildings they now call home, older even than the word museum. Born from ageless stone, hammered into clarity with a touch so true it leaves no mark of failure. These are my muses when I enter museums. 

But is it wrong to photograph someone else's art? Cheating to copy the shapes sculpted by someone else's imagination? To benefit from the blistered hands of history, the blistered hands of a hundred thousand hammer blows? Copied by one single flex of a finger then cowardly hiding in the safety of my memory until re-emerging on my computer screen and then re-sculptured by a hundred thousand finger blows until I see it as my own. 

What right do I have to claim their art as my art? A brave thief in the absence of a sentence. 


Statues featured in Giles Norman's portfolio

Vatican Statue, Rome (above)

Piazza Della Signoria, Florence

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Florence Sculpture

Statues of Florence

Sculpture detail, Rome

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