Take a number. I was in agony about finding a topic for this Monday´s column, but a story on the culture pages saved me. Two artists, Henrika Lax and Anu Kauhaniemi, were to appear in the same exhibition at Galleria Uusitalo in Billnäs. When Lax came to the exhibition she wondered why some of her old work from 2004 was exhibited. Until she noticed it wasn´t her work at all, but Kauhaniemis new paintings from 2011. Kauhaniemi claims she hasn´t seen Lax paintings, so her work is not plagiarism, but more like an unlucky coincidence. Both paintings show people rushning at the Central Railway station in Helsinki. You can see the photos of the originals on the artists respective web pages.
Back to my task. I wanted to bake in some plagiarism in my interpretation. I also thought about the availability of the motive. It´s one of the central scenes in Helsinki, thousands of people go passing by there every day. I thought maybe the people who work there would be annoyed by painters occupying space at the station, and maybe set up a queuing system. If you want to paint here, take a number.
For background I tried to imitate the painting by Lax. It became a clumsy version of the original. Her work is really delicate, every shade of the few colors she uses are picked with care. It must have taken her days and weeks to complete this, so I felt like a barbarian to copy it in an hour. I could have just pasted her work in the background in Photoshop, but it wouldn´t have been the same thing (would have looked better though).