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How does symbolism (artists who use coexisting objects/symbols to convey ideas in their work AND artists who create their own symbolism as a narrative) influence an artists’ work throughout art history ?

Playwrights and directors regularly take inspiration from popular culture and incorporate these references into their work. For example, the iconic scene in Nosferatu where the vampire rises and moves through the town is replicated in the equally iconic ‘Carrie’ during the pig blood scene - but only to those who are looking. The actress who played Carrie mimics Nosferatu’s hands as a nod to the beginnings of horror culture. Again, this happens in Breaking Bad, the popular tv snow. There is a frame where Walter White and Jesse Pinkman square off at each other with guns, with one of them on the floor. This is directly mirroring ‘Reservoir Dogs’, the cult classic, where two characters - Mr White and Mr Pink - (note the similarity in the names to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman) square off in the same physical gesture. These simple yet effective nods to genre greats and points of cinematic/ theatrical inspiration completely embody why we love to create - for the sheer pleasure and inspiration of it. My references have been cinematically based, but I’m sure you’ll receive answers pertaining more to historical and modern art too. Hope it helps!

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Isabella Brownson
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