At what point does artistic appropriation become copyright infringement? A Jeff Koons sculpture has reopened the 50-year-old debate.
Richard Prince: New Portraits consists of 37 of the artist’s so-called “Instagram paintings,” each of which, if we’re to believe an anonymous source of the New York Post, are selling for around $100,000. The series, which includes photographs of celebrities such as Kate Moss, Pamela Anderson, Elizabeth Jagger, and Sky Ferreira, feels cheap and underwhelming.
Artist Jason Levesque was down in Miami last week, wandering around Scope art fair, when he noticed something: work by an artist named Josafat Miranda that looked exactly like his own. Miranda had taken photographs shot by Levesque years ago and painted them nearly to a tee — recreations with a bit of added color and flair.
Lady Gaga hosted the last big party of fashion week on September 14 by creating “Sleeping With Gaga,” a performance that has uncomfortable similarities with Canadian-Ukranian artist Taras Polataiko’s recent Sleeping Beauty. After drawing a lot of international press and attention, his modern-day fairytale closed at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev on September 9, five days before her one-night-only performance took place at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
I have long suspected that all the press attention garnered by the Cariou v Prince story, with its heady mix of celebrity, power and money has caused the importance of this case to become magnified in the eyes of courtroom outsiders.
Go ahead, expect more of these sweaty headlines with question marks in them. Because, with the now rather infamous Cariou v Prince case up for appeal sometime this year, we are facing another deluge of half-informed, and angrily contentious, punditry which will wash over the raw, dry, factual sands of more professional reports like a tsunami of histrionics.
PHILADELPHIA — Unlike too many pop artists, Chinese artist Liu Bolin has managed to retain a balance, or maybe a synergy, between popular throwaway aesthetics and the conceptual, while keeping the work readable to a wide audience. His work is designed to go viral, but it isn’t as shallow as a LOLCAT. Of course, viral ideas don’t come around every day, and advertisers love them, so it should come as little surprise that Bolin’s Hiding In The Cities series has been blatantly ripped off by a number of advertisers across countries and trades.
The art world is apparently supposed to line up behind Richard Prince. If you’re radical right now, you view intellectual property (IP) as a vestige of an archaic market strategy. You think of IP enforcement as a form of hoarding. And you think that anyone who objects, just “doesn’t get it.” And any artist who wishes to build a brand or even to get paid for serial prints (mind you, this includes some of the very radicals mentioned above!) — well, they are supposed to line up behind Patrick Cariou. If you’ve got a vested interest in a body of work, you think of appropriation artists as vermin, lazy, energy-sapping parasites. And you think that anyone who objects is an egomaniac with a crazed sense of entitlement. Want to pick a side in the debate? Here are a few things you’ll need to know.
For the flurry of appropriation court cases we’ve been in the middle of lately, artist and graphic designer Austin Kleon has an appropriate response. In a presentation titled “How to Steal Like an Artist,” Kleon explains how collaboration and inspiration break down artistic boundaries. Just tell that to Patrick Cariou.
The art world presents an overwhelming threat to clowns everywhere as Jeff Koons sues San Francisco store Park Life and Toronto creators imm Living for producing and selling balloon dog bookends that look only slightly similar to the famous artist’s balloon dog sculptures in that they both look like puffy dogs. A cease and desist letter from Koons commanded that the bookends no longer be sold and the objects are now removed from Park Life’s shelves. If Koons should succeed in his suit to have utter dominion over all the balloon dogs he surveys, we all know who would be hurt the most: clowns, America’s greatest balloon dog producers.