Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Public's Right to Own

We've gone a few rounds in the discussions here on whether artists still control the irony in their work...that is, whether they can control the irony the viewer sees in it, regardless of how sincere they were in offering it. Bambino and I had the pleasure of spending some time with New York contemporary art's extraordinarily well-versed couple, James Wagner and Barry Hoggard, last weekend, and Barry described an exhibition in which the imagery looked as if it were a social commentary on fashion appropriation by Brooklyn hipsters. In learning more about the artist, however, he discovered the work was not about today, but was indeed sincerely about the first time those fashions had been popular. We discussed how this illustrated the point about irony being out of the artist's hands. 20th Century art had trained us to at least suspect irony/appropriation in almost everything.

Lately, however, I've begun to sense a growing assertion that not even the imagery of an artist is in their hands. The argument seems to be that once an image is put out there, the public has some rights to it. The public has a right to own, in some way, the images it endorses/cherishes/supports. (I can hear the steam pouring out the ears of copyright lawyers across the planet.)

Two upcoming exhibitions explore this assertion to various degrees. One I'm not at liberty to reveal just yet, but I'll try to sketch what's important about it in this context without giving too much away. The other has released a press release and so is grist for our mill.

The one we can discuss is at the always-two-steps-ahead not-for-profit Harlem space Triple Candie (see image at top for installation view). Despite years of asking, the space could not get elusive Harlem-based artist David Hammon to agree to exhibit there (he only exhibits in blue-chip galleries and none of his dealers or close collectors would lend his work for an exhibition). So, in the spirit of exploring "how the strategic process of ascribing value to an artist's work---by galleries, collectors, curators, even artists---changes the art's relationship to the public," Triple Candie is presenting an "unauthorized" retrospective of David that will not, however, include any of his actual work. explains:
With nearly 100 items, the show is the most comprehensive ever of Hammons’ work -- but it features no actual art, only photocopies and computer printouts taken from previously published catalogues, exhibitions brochures and websites. According to Triple Candie director Peter Nesbett, the show is meant as a populist attempt to share Hammons’ work with a local audience. Hammons, who is notoriously enigmatic and aloof, rarely exhibits his work, Nesbett says, and when it does it’s at blue-chip galleries, not in the neighborhood. Since it opened in 2001, Triple Candie has tried to interest Hammons in doing a show at the space, without success.
In some other venue's hands, I might be a bit suspect of this argument, but knowing and totally trusting directors Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett, as I do, I'm more than a little intrigued by this idea.

The other exhibition, which is I believe still seeking a home, also explains its use of another artist's imagery with a populist defense (as soon as details are shareable about this one, I'll post them). In this instance, however, no attempts have been made to convince the artist to participate. The effort is a commentary on how this target artist's work is so pervasive and influential that essentially the public owns it as much as the artist does.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating for this second exhibition, I'm sure, but two independently organized populist efforts like this do begin to make my antennae twitch.


Blogger Todd Gibson said...

Interesting take, twitching antennae and all--especially given your recent comments on the Caravaggio "exhibition." Do you make a distinction between the Hammon and the Caravaggio shows?

1/18/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger James W. Bailey said...

Dear Edward,

Similar to the real estate mantra, it's all abut the appropriation, appropriation, appropriation. The more subliminal the appropriation, the more likely the artist is to escape the wrath of the copyright police. And the more brazen the unauthorized appropriation, the more likely the artist is to be sued and therefore made (in)FAMOUS!

And here's a new kink in the appropriation legal department: who owns the copyright on a piece of art that is thrown away by an artist and retrieved (dumpster diving style) by another artist?

Adrian from In The City For Art And A Job may have a case destined for the Supreme Court-


1/18/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Do you make a distinction between the Hammon and the Caravaggio shows?


The part of the Caravaggio exhibition that strikes me as most disingenuous with regards to the claims that "this is educational" or "this is not meant to replace the original" is that in every way possible other than three-dimensional recreation, they're presenting the work as if it were the original: same size, installed as if paintings, lit as if paintings, etc. Whereas in the Hammon show, all the images are the same size, taped to the wall, unframed. It's a more honest approach in my opinion.

I tried to strike a balance between support for the Hammon exhibition (at least conceptually) and a healthy dose of skepticism, but I think there's a big enough difference in approach here to distinguish the two.

1/18/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous pc said...

What's confusing me is the conflation of populism and appropriation, which is what the Caravaggio show did, even more explicitly. I doubt the Caravaggio organizers would have used the word, which might condescend to their audience. It's odd that the more sophisticated organization, Triple Candie (love the name!), would be the one to claim populism, when their motives might be just the opposite: to "attempt to show the inherent absurdity of many retrospectives." Isn't this the an elite, highfalutin of objective? The Caravaggio exhibition just wanted to educate ordinary people. Triple Candie wants to tweak the uppermost reaches of the art world: the Met, Modern, Whitney, etc., who put on these big shows. So, like the idiot I am, if I were to judge the show without having seen it and without knowing much at all about Hammons work, I'd have to nix it. If I were Hammons, I'd be furious, and if I were an ordinary art viewer there to see Hammons work and not savor institutional critiques, I think I'd be annoyed. However, I'm not an ordinary viewer and I think I might be amused at the audacity.

About the larger question, does the artist control the work: well, I'm not sure artists ever did. But I'm sure that with the ubiquity of all kinds of reproctive means of copying things, from the internet to the copy machine, of course, the artist is in less control, proportional to the larger size of the audience. I think all artists want to control their works and none can! Art gets bland as it becomes part of the past.

1/18/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

It's odd that the more sophisticated organization, Triple Candie (love the name!), would be the one to claim populism, when their motives might be just the opposite: to "attempt to show the inherent absurdity of many retrospectives." Isn't this the an elite, highfalutin of objective?

I think both objectives are sincere, actually. Triple Candie is very supportive of contemporary Harlem as an art center. I'm sure Hammon's resistance to exhibit where he lives strikes them as offensive somewhat, especially as it could serve the community in encouraging other folks living there to see Harlem even more in the same light. On the other hand, the minds behind T.C. are indeed brilliant enough to not let pass an opportunity to, as you note, "tweak the uppermost reaches of the art world."

1/18/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Todd W. said...

it features no actual art, only photocopies and computer printouts taken from previously published catalogues, exhibitions brochures and websites.

To further Todd G's point, what does this show add above and beyond the published work these images are taken from? Aren't these publications more democratic than pinning photocopies to a wall. The general public can "appropriate" (ie own) a book in a way it can't a gallery show.

1/18/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Aren't these publications more democratic than pinning photocopies to a wall. The general public can "appropriate" (ie own) a book in a way it can't a gallery show.

I think that's a valid criticism actually (which, again, is why I'm somewhat skeptical). I won't speak for the organizers, but I think, again, that context is an important issue for them here.

The other thing juxtaposing images collected from various books provides, of course, is a critique/narrative (i.e., curator's point of view) about the work.

1/18/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I should clarify my "skepticism" claims here, especially in light of my comment that I totally trust Triple Candie's directors. They are indeed brilliant --- and we're critiquing an exhibition here without actually seeing it (always a hazardous activity) --- but there do seem to be a few more questions than answers here.

Let me just say, I have enough faith based on their past efforts to be intrigued, but reserve the right to disagree with them later.

Moreover, that two exhibitions exploring this crop up at the same time makes me want to hash out the nuances here...hence the post...

1/18/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous pc said...

I'm sure that "both arguments are sincere," but I wonder how much the show is about the art. Isn't Hammons furious?

1/18/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Isn't Hammons furious?

Don't know. No indication in anything I've read to suggest he is, but given that he refused to participate before, perhaps.

I do think it's an interesting effort for all these reasons. It's ripe with the sort of human drama we talk about all the time in art, but rarely get to see concentrated so efficiently.

1/18/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous pc said...

TC decribes Hammons as a "trickster." Is it possible he's in on the thing? Then it makes a lot more sense. Edward seemed to be decrying the artist's decreasing role in the interpretation of his or her art. If Hammons is in on the joke, it's like a parody of the Caravaggio reproduction show.

1/18/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like institutional critique in reverse; like the institution (Triple C, admittedly a small institution) is critiquing an artist and trying to shame him into showing in a venue that they feel he "should" want to be part of.

I still have one of those little blue lights from Hammons' show at Ace a couple years back. Maybe I should offer to loan it to Triple C as an artifact.

Another interesting twist is that Shelly & Peter are white (in other words, their space in Harlem was conceived of and is run by whites who moved to the neighborhood fairly recently) and Hammons is black. So Hammons might be annoyed that these newcomers are trying to dictate how he should contribute to or represent his 'hood.


1/18/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...


Interesting idea PC! It would also be an interesting twist on the "John Dogg" exhibitions in the 80's.

And, it would certainly answer a few questions the exhibition presents. Gotta call those TC folks now.

1/18/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous james leonard said...

Another item to throw on this fire: Taking Liberties. This show was curated by Charles Mutscheller several years ago. It was comprised entirely of take-away works, bootlegs, and stolen elements from larger works. Among the artists included: reineke dijkstra, katharina fritsch, and felix gonzalez-torres. Sadly, Chuck lost his job at the Art Institute over this show. European galleries representing these artists loved the concept, but US galleries threatened to sue (IIRC).

On a different note, regarding one of the initial questions in Ed's post:

Lately, however, I've begun to sense a growing assertion that not even the imagery of an artist is in their hands.

The majority of my grad school thesis work (written and gallery work) was dedicated to exploring this. I firmly believe that meaning is emergent, generated from an interaction between audience and object(art work).

In many ways, good art works can be likened to good game or toy design. The artist anticipates how an audience member might shake and break the work. Just like a good video game designer, you anticipate where most audience will try to "lift the curtain." You need to be thorough but removed if you want to have any significant influence over the meaning a work might generate.

1/18/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous jc said...

I have to say that when I first read about this show, I had a negative reaction. After reading your post, Ed, and the comments, I have a clearer sense of why.

First, if this is what it appears to be--a gallery showing reproductions of an artist's work in place of the actual artwork, as an act of protest--I think it is just plain wrong. I don't really know the history behind Hammons and his venue choices, but aren't they his choices? Perhaps he has lots of reasons for not wanting to show at Triple Candie?

Second, I'm not sure I buy the "populist" angle, either. Beyond art world folks, who really visits Triple Candie? I think that we in the art world sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we're reaching various "communities" or "the public" when in fact we are just sharing work amongst ourselves.

1/18/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Edna said...

I'm totally put off by Hammon's blue chip gallery rule and also by the fact that Triple Candie is doing the show anyway. They're just stroking the ego of an artist who can't be bothered to represent his own neighborhood. I like Hammon's work a lot, but TC should highlight someone who cares and wants to give back. If Hammon is involved with the concept somehow it's even more pseudo subversive and yucky.

As far as a comparison to the Carravagio show, I think the main difference is museum vs. gallery. Even so, a show of photocopies and printouts rather than actual work is lame, "applied" concept or not, considering they wanted his real stuff but couldn't get it. I don't think simply attaching a cute concept negates everything. It's desperate. And to describe it as a Populist attempt to share the work? That makes no sense!

The controlling irony question is interesting, though. I think the default reaction to all contemporary art these days is an ironic read. Isn't it creepy and horrible? In the case of this show, is TC trying to be subversive (and question the notion of ascribed irony) by mounting the show without Hammon's approval? Or was this their MO from the beginning and they're just using him as an example?

Ciao baby

1/18/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I think there would be some grounds for complaint if they were trying to sell the work or reproductions. In fact, if the show were a book no one would say they were ripping off the artist, even if they were selling it. So, it is a pretty subtle distinction we are talking about.

Hammon is a trickster. He is the guy who sits on the street and tries to sell snowballs as art. His work is definitely about his second class (or third or fourth) status as a black american and also about the odd nature of selling ideas. His methods are not at all straightforward. His not wanting to show in a gallery in Harlem, where he lives and, presumably, grew up, can't be seen as a protest. According to the artnet article it is a long standing position of his. It just might be that these people are not the intended audience for the work.

Triple Candie wants to share his work with his neighbors. Here we have white elites, in the process of gentrification, trying to ameliorate their guilt (I am oversimplifying, I have a feeling the curators are aware of the frisson) by introducing blacks to their own culture. I think Hammon would be cracking up.

In the pages of "Most Art Sucks, Five Years of Coagula" there is one picture of actual art. In the background of a page with text about careerism and branding by artists is a guy standing in front of a giant steam whistle. No mention of the artist or the piece. The photographer gets a credit, but not the artist. That artist would be me. I was pissed. An attorney told me this is entirely within their legal rights, and, over time, I came to the conclusion that I would rather support the free flow of information than be a stick in the mud. I now only use it to annoy Matt Gleason, he claims to not be responsible. Whata you know?

1/18/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Edna said...

Jen was calling TC's decision to mount the show a protest, not Hammon's decision not to participate.

At least that's how I understood it.


1/18/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Art Soldier said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems pretty obvious that Hammons is involved. The first sentence the site uses to describe him is: "David Hammons is an art-world trickster. For more than 40 years, he has used the conventions of the art world against itself, making work that profoundly questions the role of art in society." It then goes on to describe a "trick" of an exhibition that "uses the conventions of the art world against itself." They even describe in the last paragraph how the exhibition itself is about the art world -- sounds like an elaborate scheme by Hammonds.

1/18/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Edna said...

So... if that's true, Hammons is doing what, exactly? Trying to trick his own 'hood into thinking he's above them, when he's actually just commenting on a lack of Populism in the art world? PUH-lease.


1/18/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Aren't there about a thousand other shows that could be exhibited, instead of this?

1/18/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Anonymous james leonard said...

Aren't there about a thousand other shows that could be exhibited, instead of this?

Always. C'est la vie!

1/18/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous marksock said...

I think that there is a lack of understanding about Hammon's work here. He Has in fact shown work in "his hood" in the numerous sculptures and events that he has created in the actual space around the streets and parks of Harlem. His idea of showing in these "blue chip" galleries is not a turning away from his roots, it is a way of implicating the viewer ( the type that would attend these galleries) in his brand of social critique. Plus add to the fact that he has always tried to maintain a minimal pressence in the art world saying that the "less I do the more of an artist I remain "(paraphrased)points to why he perhaps would not pursue anything with this gallery. Havinsaid that I support the gallery's effort in the spirtit of breaking the boundaries between artist, curator, dealer relationships and creating new levels of interaction. this is the art worlds version of iTunes.

1/18/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous burrito brother said...

I won't say how, but I know for a fact Hammons is involved with this exhibition which clearly follows the course of institutional and cultural critique that his art has take over his career. Not to stick up for Hammons or the institution, but they probably wanted to work together, and found it impossible to get all of Hammons' work lent to Triple Candie so they created this solution: retrospective as conceptual art piece. I agree with Mark though and would like to think and talk about other shows instead...

1/18/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Edna said...

Burritobaby, where were you an hour ago? Would have saved us a lot of typing.

: )

1/18/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

burrito brother,

come on! spill your guts...T.C. hasn't returned my least give us a hint.

1/18/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Edna said...

Edward_! I thought you were on the phone all this time.


1/18/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Barbaccia said...

As artists, we relinquish most, if not all, control of our work to others and to nature as soon as it's shown or experienced. How much control we have even during the creative process is suspect.

1/18/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

whats going on, whats happening :)

1/18/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Edward_! I thought you were on the phone all this time.

No...over at the new space, bribing the construction's looking good though!

Taking Joseph's cue, though, perhaps there's still something salvagable in the debate I thought we might have here: re, the idea that artwork is somehow indeed the public's. I mean, I'm the first one to support an artist's right to appropriate an where should the line be drawn? At artistic, versus commercial, intent? Is it OK for educational institutions to do as they please (art history textbook publishers won't smile on that idea [nor the institutions they pay permissions fees to]). And what about the actual public itself. The idea floated by T.C.'s press release seems to be that the process whereby value is ascribed to artwork gives the public certain rights of access. I'm not so sure one can dismiss that assertion out of hand.
Hi bambino! xoxo

1/18/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Art Soldier said...

If you thought that was fun, then check out The Faux Show from last month in Philadelphia. All the artworks from a group exhibition were supposedly "destroyed" during the night by a performance artist's "intervention". Turns out the whole thing was fake. Iconoduel bit hook, line, and sinker (midwestern fishing expression).

1/18/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous ML said...


Since this one has laid the groundwork, please do a post about appropriation and how it is different from theft. The edge between the two seems as nebulous as that between fact and fiction in memoirs.

1/18/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Since this one has laid the groundwork, please do a post about appropriation and how it is different from theft.

I hope you mean in artmaking, because in the real world, as flattered as I am you think I might know...well, as they say, IANAL. And as such, even within the realm of artmaking, I'm not sure a whole post is something I got in the cuff...

In artmaking, I think appropriation is best differentiated from theft via the idea that the image/idea/etc. is recognizable as belonging to the original creator, whereas theft is where the presentation choices make it seem or suggest the latter artist created/invented it. I can see situations where both are appropriate and situations where both are perhaps of questionable legitimacy, although less so with appropriation. Theft in art is almost always OK, IMO. So long as you can get away with it.

Again, though, I am not a lawyer...not even an art lawyer. Although, I appreciate your allusion to the James Frey fiasco.

1/18/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Barbaccia said...

The public: isn't it to whom we pass the art if we want to show? When a viewer takes art in the form of idea and image, then passes it on in the form of crticisim or photo reproduction, they change it slightly; like a piece of old glass changes the view from an old hotel. We may own the piece, but we don't own the art.

1/18/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger James W. Bailey said...

"The edge between the two seems as nebulous as that between fact and fiction in memoirs."

"I think appropriation is best differentiated from theft via the idea that the image/idea/etc. is recognizable as belonging to the original creator, whereas theft is where the presentation choices make it seem or suggest the latter artist created/invented it."

I can't help but think of Ward Churchill's mirror image serigraph ("Winter Attack") that was somewhat "loosely" inspired by Thomas E. Mails's "The Mystic Warriors of the Plains" -

Every great artist, like Ward Churchill, needs to have a great copyright attorney's name and contact info programmed into their Blackberry just in case.

However, in my professional artist career, I can testify that the theft of ILLEGAL images is a much safer bet for an artist who wishes to appropriate ad infinitum without the fear of being sued for copyright infringment. There aren't that many FISA-scared artists these days who are willing to come out of hiding to defend in an open public court their copyright claim to an illegal image!


1/18/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ML said...

I have a friend whose style/technique was stolen by someone with much better contacts/connections so this is a subject of interest to me.

All artists borrow. I think that's one of the reasons we obsessively look at other work. Appropriation is a conceptual tool: it, like the Triple Candie show, makes a point about the conjunction of work and culture or perception. Appropriation is essentially an insider commentary/joke. Theft is a marketing device, increasing one's "market share." Maybe the difference between the two is like sexual harrassment - it's about uneven power.

1/18/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger James W. Bailey said...

Dear ML,

[Theft is a marketing device, increasing one's "market share."]

Theft is a crime. I don't know what other artists do, but I can tell you what I have done: if someone steals your image, you send them a cease and desist letter (if you want to be nice about it) and then file suit against them if they refuse to comply with your demands.

I know what I'm talking about. In 1989 I had an image (a street photograph of a blues musician playing his trumpet in the French Quarter) that was stolen and reproduced as a tourist postcard. These postcards were sold in a fly-by-night chain of French Quarter t-shirt shops on Canal Street.

I immediately went to court and proceeded to swamp the card publication company and the store owner with an avalanche of paper work.

As part of the eventual out of court settlement, I took possession of all the unauthorized postcards. A year later (in an alternative venue in New Orleans) I mounted an exhibition of the reams of cease and desist letters, legal pleadings, my original image and the unauthorized postcards. I actually sold several of the unauthorized postcards. I thought it was pretty cool that those dudes illegally appropriated my work, yet at the end of the day, I'm the one who realized the profit! I guess the moral of the story is that God does look after his own people.

Of course, being an artist who knows your legal rights and how to pursue them with the tenacity of a Johnny Cochran at every avenue goes a long ways in the art world. But the same is true with a sexual harraser. Nothing will chill their heels like the cold wind that blows through their front door when they open that cease and desist letter!


1/18/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, it's nice that things turned out so well for you, but usually the theft isn't quite as blatant. And, as with sexual harrassment, it's often done by someone with more power and resources than than the one they're stealing from, making it difficult to call them on it. It's happened to me, and yes, now I would handle it differently, but at the time I was inexperienced (which the thief knew and counted on) and I couldn't quite believe that it was happening and didn't know what to do about it.

1/18/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous ML said...


I suspect it is easier with photography. It's definitely harder to prove theft with painting. Change one color or shift a pattern - it's not the same painting, ergo no theft. My friend talked with lawyers and was told there was no case.

And screaming about it just alienates people.

1/18/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous james leonard said...

Appropriation is essentially an insider commentary/joke.

True. The trick is letting a wider audience "in" on the insider aspect. And this usually boils down in large part to source material.

It takes an informed instinct (wisdom even?) to select source material that nets a wider audience for whatever dialogue your appropriation might inspire. This is one of many reasons to extend and diversify your social circles. If one runs only with hipsters and art world elites, one risks losing touch with the cultures of "masses." Dare to keep company with the unambitious!

(Marginally on topic considering the populism angle:)

My wife has a pet theory about anthemic recording artists: their careers always crest (in terms of their "best work") just ahead of their fame because the fame and newfound lifestyle isolates them from plebian worries. Examples she'll cite: David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Ice Cube, U2, Rolling Stones, etc etc. Of course there are exceptions and I'm not sure if it's an air tight "theory." But it is an interesting observation none-the-less.

(Meanwhile, her favorite recording artists keep making great work because, as one of them once penned, they are "too smart to be famous.")

1/18/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Bowie and Dylan? When did they peak? or should I say which time?

1/18/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger James W. Bailey said...

Dear ML,

Grand theft laws specific to the jurisdiction of the place of the alleged theft would have a great impact on a lawyer's evaluation of the merits of a potential case. In my case, the laws of state of Louisiana and the Parish of Orleans (both of which are deeply informed by the Napoleonic Code) were admitedly on my side.

Regarding alienation, and for the record, I did first scream and yell (being from Mississippi I also recall theatening to kick the store owner's teeth out!) when I first discovered the unauthorized theft of my photograph.

The store owner laughed and said sue me...and I did.

I hear from artists all the time (a large number of which are fellow Southern artists) who are on the wet end of the stick with regard to everthing from being ripped off by a collector whose check bounced, to being screwed over by signing a bad gallery contract, to even once being contacted by an artist in New Orleans whose landlord illegally entered her apartment to seize her art in lieu of back rent (she refused to pay the rent because the landlord refused to fix her plumbing.) I helped her file a pleading, we sued that dude's ass and not only did she get her paintings back, she also received punitive damages to the tune of 6 months rent.

Many artists are in my experience woefully ill-equiped and informed about how to deal with the enourmously complicated legal isses that inevitably will arise (if you live and work long enough) in the world of making, exhibiting and selling art.

The sad thing is, again in my experience, that if a timid fearful artist even dares to raise an issue regarding their basic rights under contract law they are perceived to be alienating by the power figures by virtue of simply expressing their rights.

Maybe it's must me, but my art/business/life philosophy is inspired and informed by Bob Marley -

Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right

Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight

I believe and live it. I also know that if you do what Bob Marley says, you'll always alienate someone.


1/18/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous james leonard said...

Bowie and Dylan? When did they peak? or should I say which time?

I'll have to pester my wife for the specifics, but from our conversations I'd say 1982ish is when David Bowie starts to fall off for her with him jumping the shark with China Girl. (She punches me if I play that song... punches HARD!) Though I disagree on that one, placing his divergence from my tastes a bit later--sometime between his role in Labyrinth and Dancin' in the Streets.

Dylan I'm not so sure if there is a moment, but she's definitely not a fan of the past 15 years.

*shrug* But I'm far from an authority and have a limited opinion on the matter. Such is penny philosophy... now I just need me a beer. *wink*

1/18/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous pc said...

Edward said in is initial post, "20th Century art had trained us to at least suspect irony/appropriation in almost everything." 20th Century art was right!

1/19/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am way late to this thread seemed to evolve into a conversation about artists stealing from artists....has Ed done a post on this already somewhere in the archives? It would be a great open thread, it seems to me, I am sure everyone has had some kind of experience with this. I am currently experiencing it with my studio mate. Total shocker.


1/19/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to hear more from anonymous j about the studio mate situation; i have experienced a similar thing.

another anon

1/19/2006 01:55:00 PM  

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