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.
The New York City Bar Association’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Appropriation: Contemporary Art After Cariou v. Prince” was, as billed, “a frank discussion of fair use and artistic practice.” And it was, indeed, frank, with all six panelists speaking plainly and tough audience questions encouraged. But it was also, clouded and meandering, the way that all intellectual property discussions are.
Lost in a Metro-North commuter train daze, I watched the Wassaic Project pass by the train window without recognizing it. But the giant slingshot and makeshift teepees that decorated the lush green grass next to a towering grain elevator hinted that artists and their ilk may be nearby. Inside, I would find works by Eric Fischl, Agnes Martin, Gary Hume, Richard Prince, Dieter Roth, Rebecca Horn, Gerhard Richter and Imi Knoebel … among others.
The Hamptons have been heating up lately. While all the collectors are out of the city, and Chelsea seems relatively empty, Long Island is teeming with people. Despite being is probably one of the only places in the world where you can find a Richard Serra on someone’s front lawn the ultra-rich beach town is also a Mecca for grandma art.
As part of the Festival of Ideas For the New City anchored by the New Museum, a group of major artists have sprinkled the Bowery with murals. In collaboration with the Art Production Fund, painters including Mary Heilmann, Richard Prince and Jacqueline Humphries created murals for the roll-down metal gates of restaurant supply stores on the historic street. The trick is that these murals are only visible at night, after the stores close. Over the course of one evening’s sunset, I went on a scouting mission to photograph the works in their native habitat. Click through for the photo essay.
The recent Cariou v Prince District Court decision has brought to the fore, once and for all, the elephant in the art world and courtroom, Fair Use, which had, until now, managed to avoid close scrutiny in the popular press.
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.
The result of a lawsuit levied against Richard Prince’s “Canal Zone” series of photos has determined that the artist may be forced to destroy the works, as they violate copyright laws protecting the series of photographs appropriated by Prince, “Yes Rasta” by French photographer Patrick Cariou. In the end, what happens to Prince’s work is up to Cariou. The court case revolved around whether or not Prince’s alterations of the Cariou’s photos constituted total transformations of the originals, and thus protected under fair use laws. The answer handed down by the court was that Prince’s works didn’t count as fair use of the images — in a word, Prince’s works were too derivative.
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.
It’s summer in New York and the focus of the city’s art fans shifts to museums as many stage large tourist-friendly shows and turn up the air conditioning during the sweltering months. Visiting the museums I encounter people — often tourists — who discuss art with refreshingly unfiltered opinions about what they are seeing. On a recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I overheard some very interesting commentary from the museum goers; commentary that sparked confusion, insight, and humor … and I decided to write it down.