IT'S never a bad thing to idolize, adore and admire and take inspiration from someone whose works and creations are regarded as exemplary and outstanding.

In the art practice, a great artist and his masterpiece is seen by the younger set of artists as someone to look up to.

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A masterwork often becomes the yardstick for great art and a particular masterpiece becomes so popular that it moves and influences many aspiring artists.

No doubt, the west has greatly influenced the local art community. Today artists no longer talk of local masters but of great masters abroad.

Here are telltale signs of some foreign influences on local art.

They are often seen, felt and manifested when artists start to paint sunflowers or when they tend to paint in cubes. These are a few examples.

Jojo Gubalane’s painting of a man and woman appears to be figures borrowed from a Picasso painting.

Antonio Vidal’s sunflowers are definitely so Van Gogh-ish in influence. The brightness of the petals, colors and textures all point to that one source: The famous

“Sunflowers” painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

The primitives and primitivism are back. The whimsically titled painting “Mr. Pogi” by Marlowe Villagonzalo echoes the primitivist graffiti works of Jean Basquiat.

Villagonzalo, however, does a completed version giving it his own character and originality.

Outside influences have guided artists over the years while some as they grow will succeed to find their own style and niche.