In sports, when a great player retires, they often retire the athelte’s number. Looking at this poster over at swissmiss
I imagined a similar idea for artists. For example, after Hockney, anyone else who paints paintings of California is going to be compared to him. Likewise Pollack and drippings, etc. Of course artists can still create works about California or Germany or use steel or trash, but they are going to suffer the same comparisons that a lesser athlete faces when wearing the same number as a great athlete.
That said, there are lots more topics and ideas and themes to paint or sculpt, just like there are lots of numbers. So artists and athletes, take note, but take heart. :)