Appropriation Art: anonymous struggle with the stars
ARTinvestment.RU   16 февраля 2009

ARTinvestment.RU presents the story of the artists, whose work is based on borrowing other people's images

The most popular piece of art in America in 2008, no doubt, became a poster showing Barack Obama (Barack Obama) and the word HOPE, created by American artist Shepard Feira (Shepard Fairey). Remember the inauguration of a new U.S. president, held on 20 January: a great many fans of Obama came to the Capitol with such posters. Recently, work Feira even included in the collection of the Washington National Portrait Gallery . But the artist to rest on its laurels short: news agency Associated Press has submitted to him in court . The point is that the foundation of the famous poster was a picture on the right which belongs to AP. Borrowing other people's images - an essential element of creativity Feira, because it is the artist-apropriator.

The term «apropriatsionizm» (or Appropriation Art) went into circulation in the early 1980's, became known when such artists as Richard Prince (Richard Prince) and Sherri Levine (Sherrie Levine). Fans put into their work elements created by other authors, there is, of course, in the past, but it is in their appropriation of creativity came to the fore. For example, the most famous works of Sherry Levine - photo images made famous Walker Evans (Walker Evans). A Richard Prince has made a name for «Marlborough-menah» - Photographs magazine advertising of cigarettes. Those who first read about these artists, often raises the question: and what they have relationships with people who are right «brought» to work? .. Can I say that by creating their works, apropriatory violate any moral standards? And, if violated, then there are those seeking their own ends? And there are those goals that is for them to neglect the moral? ARTinvestment.RU offers a look into this issue.

First - the theory of history. Let's think about what elements in the work of another author should borrow an artist to get the title apropriatora? Borrowing the plot works «appropriation» can not be otherwise apropriatorami need it would be called, for example, the majority of artists, writers paintings of religious subjects. Simple plagiarist, borrow from any artist of his style, too, can not be considered apropriatorami - simply because apropriatory with the help of borrowed elements seeking to express their own ideas. That is, to use their works are, so to speak, are much less reverence than plagiary - these works are not for the «point of reference», the embodiment of rules, which must be followed, but merely a tool. Apropriatory borrow mainly visual images, or elements of these images, which they inserted into their creations.

The emergence of «Art Drawing» associated primarily with the proliferation of technology collage. At the beginning of XX century artists Cubists Pablo Picasso (Pablo Picasso), Georges Marriage (Georges Braque) and GRIS, Juan (Juan Gris) to create songs, elements of which were full glued to canvas scraps of newspapers, music and wallpapers. Cubists first figures of the avant-garde art in order to use these fragments of «real world». Artists attracted not only the aesthetic properties of papers and notes, but also that their inclusion in the composition of the picture looked a «living» and dynamic. Marcel Duchamp (Marcel Duchamp) went even further: for their work «LHOOQ» he used the already existing work of art, but still a - itself «Mona Lisa». In 1919, he was dadaistski poizdevalsya over her penciled mustache and goatee (certainly not at the picture, but on the card with her picture). Interestingly, the image of «moustached Mona Lisa» Dushan later borrowed from other artists. When the work is only a friend Dushan Francis Picabia (Francis Picabia) wanted to put it in his reproduction of the magazine «391», but the original did not have on hand, so he created his version: Mona Lisa with a prominent mustache, but no edges. However, in the magazine showed his work as «Dadaistskaya picture of Marcel Duchamp». A 1954-m Salvador Dali (Salvador Dalí) did his version of «LHOOQ», Mona Lisa penciled mustache and his company «vypuchiv» her eyes.

artists and post-modernists who worked with images created by other people, to bear a number. For example, the German Dadaists Kurt Schwitters (Kurt Schwitters) used in their collages trivial images from the media and reproductions of famous paintings, and his contemporary, John Hartfild maker montage (John Heartfield) - reportage images, including photographs of Hitler. American surrealist Joseph Cornell (Joseph Cornell) borrowed for its exquisite illustrations of Victorian songs and, again, reproduction. One of the most famous of his works - «Medici Boy», the main element of a picture picture Pinturikko Bernardino (Bernardino Pinturicchio) «Portrait of a Boy». Robert Rauschenberg (Robert Rauschenberg), like his idol Schwitters, took photographs of the media, their artistic process and commingle the other objects on the canvas - the so-obtained his famous paintings-«harvesters». His friend Jasper Johns (Jasper Johns) «encroached» as much as the American flag - the symbol appears on the most famous of his works. Andy Warhol (Andy Warhol) when creating their portraits of celebrities take as the basis of «images-icons», perpetuated in the well-known images. Gerhard Richter (Gerhard Richter) wrote his photorealistic paintings from photos, which appeared in various publications - for example, the picture of 1964 «Egyptian landscape» represents copied to the canvas page of the guide (with explanations). Etc., etc.

As we see it, artists began to draw images of a long time ago. Then why did a series of «Based on the Walker Evans» Sherri Levine, first shown at an exhibition in 1980, has caused such a surprise? .. For many people, not familiar with the subtleties of the concept Levine, her work serve as an ideal example of «post надувательства». Unlike the artists of former times, as well as Schwitters, Cornell, Rauschenberg, and other avant-garde, in the manufacture of its «refotografy» she spend a minimum of physical effort and no thought about how best to build a song, - the «G» in its concept. Considering its a snapshot of the work of Walker Evans, the viewer is unlikely to feel the same as looking at the original imprint of the great photographer. Levine tried to raise the public's sense of embarrassment that they feel, knowing that a masterpiece is in fact a forgery. Remember recent history with «colossus» Goya (Francisco de Goya) : before picture is one of the main Prado museum exhibits, it has fascinated many generations of art lovers, but as soon as it became clear that the work is not written himself a great painter and his pupil, immediately announced «secondary product» and almost sorry that so many years, to give so much attention . By «refotografiyami» Sherri Levine fought with such a «cult of the great artist». Walker Evans, she did not stop: among other works - photographs of Edward Weston (Edward Weston) and Van Gogh (Vincent van Gogh), as well as a bronze version of the famous «Toilet Marcel Duchamp». Interestingly, many of the works of other artists, which it borrows, considered to be «public domain» and therefore not protected by copyright. But Levine works in the same way as, for example, «documentary» photo works that are used in catalogs are protected by copyright. Most of those who have it apropriiruet images - artists, the legends that have long been dead, and therefore even score nothing to lose from the fact that Sherry Levine took advantage of their art. And if it comes on the «ethical» her art, the main question - whether it is worthy of the concept that its material embodiment brought so much money (the most expensive work of Levine worth 600 thousand dollars). But the matter are accompanied by almost all works of conceptual art, and not just «creative searches» apropriatorov.

Richard Prins another story. While Sherry Levine borrows from the world-famous writers, throwing them a call, the artist, on the contrary, apropriiruet creations of those whose names are little or not known. The most famous of his «refotografii» - pictures of magazine advertising of cigarettes Marlboro, comprising a series of «cowboys». According to Prince, pictures «Marlborough-menov», enlarged many times, placed in a beautiful frame and exposed to the world-famous museum, produce quite different impression than the same pictures on the pages of cheap zhurnalchikov. Like Jeff Koons, makes great copies of inflatable toys, Prince inflates up to absurd proportions banal fetish «consumer society», degumaniziruet them. He believes that his work helps people to pay attention to the hidden meaning of the beautiful things that they take as a given. The concept of a Prince is available ( «give new meaning to banal object» - about Marcel Duchamp, and the «post-critique the banality of capitalist society» - almost Andy Warhol), and the materialization of its very attractive: advertising imagery «Marlborough-menov», which he apropriiruet on truly beautiful. Therefore, Prins more successful in the market than Levine, with its sophisticated feminist conceptual constructs: in 2005, his work «Untitled. Cowboy »was sold at auction Christie's for 1.2 million dollars and became the most expensive photo in history, as well as the first photograph, pereshagnuvshey bar tender at a million dollars. Richard Prince wants to imagery «Marlborough-menov», which he photographed, were just as trivial to an inflatable bunny Koons uorholovskim banks or soup from Campbell. Existence of those whose art he enjoys, Prince prefers to ignore: «I never thought that advertising can be the authors». Although they really are. And often they are the same artists, as he.

In 2007, photographer Jim Krentts (Jim Krantz) went to an exhibition in New York's Guggenheim Museum and is very surprised when they saw the banner on your own photograph, signed «Richard Prince». «I am not an evil man, and not vindictive», - said Krentts in an interview with The New York Times and the court is not filed, but the Prince обиделся. According to the photographer, and the Prince would take to pouvazhitelnee, «on whose hunch he entered paradise», - to at least indicate in a caption to his work, that the basis for it has shot Krenttsa. It is Krentts, rather than Prince has worked with a composition, with light, with model ... In addition, the Prince could show more solidarity with them - Krentts not just a commercial photographer, he has a long history of artistic photography, writing about his works known journals, devoted to the arts . I think if Sherry Levine and Richard Prince were part of a group of artists, they would not have been able to avoid collisions «on ideological matters»: his art Levine is fighting the cult of male genius, and Prince, by contrast, strongly supported this cult. Those photographers whose work he uses in his work for him just a gray mass, anonymous works, not worthy of even that their names were mentioned in the catalog of his works. He was not even embarrassed that the majority of works which he borrows, are protected by copyright.

Jim Krentts could not sue the Prince, even if it wanted to, because the copyright on his pictures «Marlborough-menov» by tobacco company Philip Morris. Let us think about, would the corporation «defeat» Prince in court. In American law is the notion of «lawful use», which operate with lawyers, deciding whether it violates a copyright work. So, what can be considered a valid appropriation, and what not? Law drew attention to four points:

1. For what purposes the artist, brought a work of someone else's author, uses this product, whether he uses it for commercial purposes.
2. The nature of loaned works protected by copyright.
3. The extent of borrowing.
4. What impact has on the appropriation of the market value of borrowed work.

With regards to the first, second and third paragraphs of no doubt: Prince uses Krentsa work for commercial purposes; his work belongs to the same class of works of art (photography); product Krentsa copyrighted; Prince borrows work Krentsa completely changing the only its size. The fourth factor - the most controversial: the judge would have to decide whether the pieces are interchangeable Krenttsa and Prince on the market. That is, roughly speaking, «Is Prince steals the bread from the table Krenttsa»? Are not deprived of a photographer (or Philip Morris) legitimate royalties, if someone prefers not to buy him a snapshot of cowboy, but exactly the same photo with Prince? Most likely, there would have swung the pendulum in the direction of the artist: does it «Marlborough-meny» belong to the sphere of fine arts, and «Marlborough-meny» Krenttsa - to advertising. No one will be put in a magazine or billboard advertising of cigarettes with the signature «Richard Prince», just as no one will sell at Guggenheim museum reproductions of promotional postcards with photos, if the picture is not signed by the name of the famous artist-post.

is often the key in such trials is the question of the extent to which the artist borrowed apropriator transformed them visual images. Therefore, it is believed that if Philip Morris really sued the Prince, the case would be decided not in favor of the artist. The concept of the concept, the context of the context, but also because he did not edit photos Krenttsa, all of the expressive means of his shots - wrong.

Coming Prince Still, will be tried for copyright infringement, but there is a suspicion that this court, he will win - and here, too, is mainly a question of conversion. Recently French photographer Patrick Kariu (Patrick Cariou) stated that the artist «stolen» from his Jamaican rastafarian pictures , which were published in his book Yes Rasta. Portfolio Kariu as Jim Krenttsa photos - pictures of high quality. His series - enthusiastic ode Jamaica, with its fantastic natural environment and unique culture of local inhabitants, which is deeply connected with religious cult of masculinity. In this project Kariu took a decade. Prince's picture idealized, mythical rastafarian for his series of paintings «Zone of the Panama Canal», the main theme - the images that are present in the subconscious of the modern white man. Muscular black men in his works together with the lush naked girls. All figures are taken from photos of people and razrisovany in the style of De Kuninga (Willem de Kooning) and Pablo Picasso (Pablo Picasso). Patrick Kariu wants all the paintings from the series «Panama Canal Zone» have been destroyed, but the court is unlikely to satisfy its requirements - in this case, Prince has transformed apropriirovannye his photos, «draw» the figures from the original context and brought them up to the plate. Worth noting is also the fact that the draft Prince could take place and without the appropriation of images Kariu - he could take his «signs» from somewhere else on the Internet a lot of photos brawny black guys with dreadlocks. The fact that the artist borrowed them from Kariu, absolutely nothing is said about the meaning of his series of «Zone of the Panama Canal». P «Marlborough-menami» another story: a series of «cowboys» simply would not be able to see if this is not a recognizable image, rastirazhirovanny hundreds of photographs, among which - the images of Jim Krenttsa. Another point is that Prince borrows imagery Kariu as regular «no», in full accordance with the ideology of postmodern art, which deals with mass culture as a dumping ground, from whose meaning can be played indefinitely. Maybe Prince will become the art a little more humane, if it starts a dialogue with Kariu or with other artists, among whom he is something apropriiroval. Or even recognizes their contribution to its creation.

Litigation and Kariu Prince brings to mind another trial, which took place several years ago. Then the fashion photographer Andrea Blench (Andrea Blanch) filed in the court on Jeff Koons (Jeff Koons), were indignant that he had used her work to create a picture «Niagara Falls». Photo Blench, called «Silk sandals Gucci», showing women's legs. It is their borrowed Koons for his creations. It is a collage, in which an image of four pairs of female legs superimposed on photographs of Niagara Falls, as well as donuts and other delicious. Here is an artist, as in many other works, brings to the absurd capitalist methods of promotion products. The court found that Koons has transformed the image Blench and gave it a whole new meaning. In addition, the appearance of his paintings are not jeopardized prospects for the market Blench.

blaming Koons in violation of copyright law, Andrea Blench was not discovered America. In 1989, it filed with the court photographer Art Rogers (Art Rogers). In some airports the artist saw a postcard with a photo reproduction of Rogers, which depicts a man and a woman, holding pretty schenochkov. Koons, separated from the picture postcards that he sent it to his Italian assistants with an indication of its manufacture reasons sculpture: it was commanded to make a blue dogs and «cartoon» Nosik, and hair of people to decorate with flowers. According to James Traub (James Traub), wrote an essay about the process of «Rogers v. Koons», he revealed all the grotesque and the secret nature of the work of the photographer. After all, if you look, «Schenochki» Rogers quite a sad job. To achieve such a «idyll», the photographer spent a few hours. As a result, people smile at his picture was reached tired and strained, and the dogs, it's like soft toys, are quite sad. A sculpture by Koons made in explanation of the image, simply a terrible. He painted in bright colors the characters, with their non-living and meaningless smiles, like the characters of a bad dream. They still do not have legs. In general, Koons ominously lovely photograph processed Rogers, but the court did found him guilty of violating copyright. One reason for this - the fact that the visual image created by Rogers in a photo «Schenochki», in contrast to the images of Andrea Blench and Patrick Kariu, is unique. After all, photos of fine women's feet in the luxury footwear or brave adherents rastafarianstva not uncommon, but a snapshot of a man and a woman with «garland of dogs» - rodzhersovskoe «know-how». Thus, the emergence of works by Koons directly affect the market prospects of the Rogers. Imagine that the store sold two cards, one - with a photo of the sculpture first, the other - with a photo reproduction of a second. If the buyer prefers a postcard depicting a Koons sculpture, the Rogers (far less wealthy artist) did not receive their royalties, which he deserved, invented a «know-how». Koons tried to present their work as a parody of Rogers' creation, but here the court did not agree with him. Parody can be successful only if its creator ironiziruet on something known as Rogers' picture, even if it is good, most popular can not boast.

creating their sculptures, Koons directs his irony at the sheer essence of things, which are considered to be «lovely» attractive, and shows us the terrible side. His work, like the work of Richard Prince, is the criticism of post-consumer society. In order to criticize, he successfully uses the methods of the society itself. We can say that it plays a role edakogo Andy Warhol, who heads durit rich, forcing them to pay their «banality» more impressive sum. You can also think that it plays a major corporation, which presses a small business. It reduces the work of unknown artists to the level of consumer goods, diminish their accomplishments, treating them as another nameless mass cultural debris from the landfill, where you can dig and take that like it, no one asked. Is the criticism Koons those methods that he uses? That is the question.

Sometimes apropriatorov goal much more concrete than just a «critique of capitalist society». For example, good purpose - to help Obame win elections attract young people to the polls. Who is better suited for this than Street art legend Shepard Feira? .. (And here we return to the beginning of our discussions ...) It was recently point that famous OBAMA HOPE posters are in fact the creative processing of photographs Manny Garcia (Mannie Garcia). Sam Garcia seems to be nothing against the Feira do not have, but the copyright on the photo does not belong to him, but the agency Associated Press, for which he photographed and Obama. In creating his work, Feira do not wonder who made the photograph, which he later was made, he said, he had not thought about that violates someone's copyright. If he came in the head to find the author's image and try to obtain the authorization, the famous posters OBAMA HOPE exactly would be the other - AP not allowed to use the photo belongs to him. This would be detrimental to the reputation of the agency, which for all election battles, has tried to remain neutral. And if the AP has Feira right to use the photo, this would be considered as support for Obama.

Speaking of Jim Krenttse, which borrows Richard Prince photo «Marlborough-Manx», we mentioned that Krentts not against the use of an artist of his photos. He simply wants the Prince recognized his contribution to its creation. I think that if the artist asked him permission before apropriirovat, Krentts would let him do it, whether he has the right to do so. But Patrick Kariu is not likely to enable the Prince to use the photos from his book. Just as Art Rogers hardly endorsed the idea Koons is based on the frightening image of his sculpture. And Associated Press is not allowed to Shepard Feira use photos belonging to him. This suggests that copyright law greatly restricts creativity. How many good works of art not seen the light of the fact that their authors (not the case with Koons Prins) decided to consult with right before you borrow any way? .. This is one of the most sick beds of the copyright. If «passion as you want but can not», a designer can transform the product, and then its appropriation might be considered «Fair Use». If not this loophole for artists apropriatorov, the art world long ago would have covered the same avalanche litigation, out of which can not escape the music industry. In the 1970's, with the emergence of this genre of pop music, like hip-hop, the widespread practice of sampling - to borrow another's musical fragments. When hip-hop had a lot of money, the musicians sprinkled claims. Now, almost every hero charts - a potential target for the rights of various compositions, which are calculated with an enviable regularity among youth idols «unscrupulous apropriatorov».

But the artists who borrow other people's work, yet can sleep peacefully. Same Shepard Feira «slept quietly» nearly twenty years, during which he apropriiroval that you want, not the most legitimate purposes: as all other «street artists», he decorated the walls of the houses of their posters and stickers, without a permission. But the ethical component of street art - this is quite a separate issue that we will not discuss here. Just remember that Feira, as Banks (Banksy), left its mark in almost all major cities of Europe and America. Before the advent of the poster OBAMA HOPE most famous paintings was his stickers Andre the Giant, which depicted a person known restlera Andre Rene Russimoffa (André René Roussimoff), nicknamed "giant Andre. In 1998, Titan Sports, Inc., Which owns the rights to the image of Andre, Feira threatened lawsuit if he did not stop its use. The artist has developed a new version of its logo, making the person more stylized Andre and changing the Andre the Giant at the OBEY Giant. This symbol has become the company's logo Feira, he also called OBEY. Call OBEY ( «obeys!») As the main slogan of the artist is puzzling: the Feira loves to talk about his leftist inclinations, and on his own admission, hates totalitarianism. Then why did it take to adopt an authoritarian slogan? .. The answer is simple: post-irony. Leaving the house and saw a wall poster showing and calling restlera «obeys giant!», Everyone thought that would be it could mean. Totalitarian sect? Ultra partisans? .. All can be. OBEY Giant - this path leading to nowhere. Feira Creativity makes people ask questions, but gives no answers.

In the post-ironic furnace Feira flew many works of art which the artist apropriiroval for their own purposes. He mostly likes to play with the aesthetics of propaganda, borrowing the images of a totalitarian and revolutionary mythology. In 2007, Los andzhelessky artist Mark Valley (Mark Vallen) has published on its website Art for a Change article, which talked about the most famous appropriation of Feira. According Vellenu, the artist most often uses images of the Russians, Chinese and Cuban revolutionary posters, as well as posters of radical movements such as the «Black Panthers». Feira also loves art nouveau posters and posters of rock groups. Like Richard Prince, he never specifies the names of those who have borrowed some elements. Valley said that the majority of the authors of posters, which are the basis for works by the artist belonged to the leftist parties and would have been very unhappy with the fact that he uses their work for commercial purposes - in particular, is selling posters on your site, a little before this modification ( processed in Photoshop and adding a logo OBEY Giant). For each of revolutionary posters is an idea, which Feira just does not pay attention, vyryvaya images out of context. One thing - to do with publicity photos, as does Richard Prince, and quite another - works of art created for the promotion of any ideals. Valley believes that if Feira calls himself «left», he shall not bring fame to its creators images to faceless, anonymous dumb, but rather to tell of what they had fought, to acquaint his fans with a history of liberation movements. In making their posters open to interpretation, it deprives them of any meaning.

Shepard Feira - a very controversial figure. On the one hand, he often performs good deeds: once he sacrificed one of their poster campaign to close Guantanamo Bay prison. On the other hand, it sometimes violates the principles on which his art at first glance to be promoted. In 2008, he threatened a court designer Baxter Orr (Baxter Orr), who sold the work parodies logo OBEY Giant. Then called Feira Orr «parasite» ...

What then is the meaning of criticism of capitalist society, if they compromise the artists themselves such behavior? .. Creativity by Richard Prince, Jeff Koons and Shepard Feira admire many young artists. They, like all well-known intellectuals, a little more power than all the others, and thus in their power to change the attitudes of people for the better. Their art does not suffer if they show respect to the authors, without which their work is unlikely to appear on the light, as well as more loyal will apply to those who (implementing their own covenants) borrows their «business» images.

Material prepared Yulia Maksimova

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