Sunday, June 5, 2011


Inspiration is where you find it. Here retro illustrator Robert Rodriguez found it in an old Vargas painting and paid homage to it on the cover of Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. It's very cool how he modernized it and made his adjustments to the pose.

Robert Rodriguez

Alberto Vargas

the cover


The Astral Gypsy said...

So how do you distinguish between what you consider a tribute, and plagiarism.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Hmm, yes, I will try to do a post sometime around that excellent question.

The Astral Gypsy said...

Personally I tend to go with acknowledgment, if the work is signed say:'Robert Rodriguez after Vargas'
then tribute, if no acknowledgement is given, then plagiarism.

Robert Rodriguez said...

I loved seeing my Gorgeously Green girl on your site, thanks for the comments. First, what do you do when your client insists on just copying the original painting? You tell them that is impossible, especially with someone like Vargas, but you can reference his piece so everyone will know where it came from. Of course signing it "adapted from Vargas" was impossible since I didn't even get to sign it myself. And the funny thing is, nothing is copied from Vargas. Even the hands, which are the closest, and the face are not from Vargas' work, look closely. I always figure if someone knows where you got the inspiration, then you aren't stealing, you are is an "in" joke. Picasso said "Good artists copy, great artists steal." I think the interesting thing in that quote is that it takes for granted that nothing is original, it has all been done before.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Hi Robert!

Thanks for your comments, so nice to hear from you. I know exactly what you're saying, and admire how you handled the assignment.

I hope to be in contact with you to see about an interview or article for our sister blog, The Pictorial Arts Journal. If you happen to see this, will you send me an email to see if that would be possible?