WILMINGTON — The artistic duo of Darren Haper and John Sousa will exhibit their artwork in a show titled “Appropriate Everything” at Wilmington College’s Harcum Gallery Oct. 27 through Dec. 2.
A reception honoring the artists is planned for Oct. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served and the event is free and open to the public. Normal gallery hours are weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by special arrangements made through Hal Shunk, the gallery curator and professor of art.
Art critic Morgan Laurens shared that “Appropriate Everything” looks at the adage, “great artists steal,” from several angles. Using a shared set of imagery “appropriated” from the Internet, each artist creates his own body of work by adopting materials and techniques from the other. “Not only do the artists steal from the Internet,” he said, “but they also steal from each other: rubber ducks, Saturday morning cartoons and grinning emojis make appearances across their work.”
Globs of paint and floating text give the work a knocked-together magazine collage vibe, Lauren noted. “Despite covering the visual ground, the work lays bare the stylistic distance between both artists. In the democratic sharing of source material, medium and technique, the work becomes more distinct, not less. In releasing ownership of a particular style or aesthetic, the work becomes full of possibilities once again.”
Laurens added, “There’s honor among even metaphorical thieves. But when T.S. Eliot wrote, ‘Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal,’ he probably never anticipated the long, strange poem at the heart of the post-millennial Internet.”