ISSN: 20526695
First published in 2015
2 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 2
Cover Date: October 2018
Parasitical paintings
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Authors:  Andrew Bracey 
DOI: 10.1386/jcp.4.2.325_1


This article will explore three parasitical terms – mooch, commensal and mutualist – as models that can be applied to recent instances of contemporary painting practices that use historical painting as a catalyst for new works. There will be a brief introduction to the terminology of the parasite, the conceptual position of the parasitical painter and to Michel Serres’ notion of the parasite. The research is driven by the perspective of the author’s painting practice, which will be discussed, alongside an analysis of Pavel Büchler, Yelena Popova and Hans-Peter Feldmann’s work, in relation to different types of parasitical painting practices. Artists such as those explored in this text have reached beyond established notions of appropriation to use existing paintings as the primary material in their work. The act of doing something to existing paintings opens up questions over value, re-imag(in)ing, distortion, re-use, rejuvenation, re-evaluation and originality, among many others. The article closes with speculations for future investigation through notions of interrupting the interrupter and the switching of roles from the influenced to the influencer.
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