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Thread: When is a direct copy of a picture 'Art' and when is it plagiarism?

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    When is a direct copy of a picture 'Art' and when is it plagiarism?

    Apparently if you directly copy a book cover by Chris Foss and put it in a Gallery it becomes 'Art' not Plagiarism or stealing.

    How a Science Fiction Book Cover Became a $5.7 Million Painting

    http://io9.com/how-a-science-fiction...ion-1497486808
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    I like the Bull from the gallery
    By enlarging them so dramatically, Brown merges the conventions of science fiction illustration with the spectacle of large-scale history or landscape painting by artists such as Jacques-Louis David and J.M.W. Turner. Brown establishes a natural connection between different disciplines, genres and subjects, allowing them to slide with ease from one existence and interpretation into another.
    In this work, Glenn Brown tackles some of the fundamental questions of existence: Why are we here? Are we alone? What happens after we die? This painting challenges the viewer to imagine a space which is totally foreign, unknown.
    he questions the existence of painting itself.
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    More to the point, didn't Lichtenstein beat him to it by, ooh, about half a century?

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    Pure plagiarism; not even a question in my book.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Pure plagiarism, not even a question in my book.

    (the attentive reader will notice that this is NOT a simple copy of the post above mine but indeed a work of art)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    (the attentive reader will notice that this is NOT a simple copy of the post above mine but indeed a work of art)
    Only if you said: "Pure plagiarism; not even a question in my book."
    Or not.

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    Have noticed that living artists who get high prices have unbelievable ego plus the ability to pluck words out of context to seem clever. I would say more fool the buyer but chances are it will go up in value. Copying an original should at best have a value linked to the effort required, as was always the case with copies of master works, now its a business you can join if you have that brass ego for self promotion.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    The originality of a work depends on the attributes and concepts it recombines to create meaningful effect, while the delivery of artistic quality depends on technique. Brown is only exploring the second, and so, like those who paint copies of famous works, his are mere reproductions. But because we cannot legislate nor track the true conceptual foundation of art, we are stuck with allowing minor variations in technique to define differences legally. Imperfect world. As for how art works in the marketplace, that seems to be predicated more often on estimated resale values and/or bragging rights.

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    If I don't like it, and I don't, it's not art. If I don't see anything but the copy in it, and I don't, it's a sham. Obvious, really.

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    I'm stunned. I am not sure what to say. In art, especially painting, copying a Master is a method of learning. No one with half a brain is going try to pass a Master's work off as their own, no one is going to mistake a copy with some other name on it for anything of worth, except in the case of preservation of a body of work from someone who is actually known for their own skill. This guy has tapped into someone else talent and took it from them... and he seems to be aware of exactly what he is doing.

    This may not end well for anyone.
    Solfe

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    So... I can take series of screenshots of the text from a Harry Potter book, then assemble them into a slide show and display it on a big screen, and I'll be an artist?

    Sweet!
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

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    Yes, likely you can, Tog.

    I don't like it either, not a single bit, but I have qualms just damning it outright, seeing as I'm a big fan of pop art.
    I need to consider what exactly the difference between Lichtenstein or Warhol doing this and this man doing a similar thing is. I believe that there is a point to what the former two are doing that is somewhat lost on this one (Lichtenstein gigantizes traditionally very small art; Warhol abstracts well known cultural icons to comment on the recognizabiliy value of the brand vs. the actual artwork), but it is a subtle one and may not be shared by everyone.


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    So this guy did something a lazy 8th grader does to "write" a report and it's art? And the critics buy into the logic? Talk about a morally bankrupt system!
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    There's a short story by Borges in which he describes a writer working in the 19th century. The fictional writer, deliberately choosing to write in the style of a 16th century writer, by extraordinary chance reproduces Don Quijote by Cervantes, despite never having seen it. Borges, as narrator, argues that this is a greater work of art than Cervantes' original. Of course this is not a deliberate but an accidental copy, but it does present the thought that the same thing in a different context can be importantly different.

    There's an artist who by hand draws hand-draws copies of US banknotes, at exactly the same size, with very considerable draftsmanship. He sells these "works of arts" by "spending them", with the consent of the other party, often with an exchange value considerably in excess of the face quantity of the currency. The recipients usually frame them. Occasionally there are variant notes, such as a different portrait, or a non-existent denomination. Unfortunately the Fed suffers from a lack of common sense and he was prosecuted for forgery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jokergirl View Post
    I don't like it either, not a single bit, but I have qualms just damning it outright, seeing as I'm a big fan of pop art.
    I need to consider what exactly the difference between Lichtenstein or Warhol doing this and this man doing a similar thing is. I believe that there is a point to what the former two are doing that is somewhat lost on this one (Lichtenstein gigantizes traditionally very small art; Warhol abstracts well known cultural icons to comment on the recognizabiliy value of the brand vs. the actual artwork), but it is a subtle one and may not be shared by everyone.

    I think you got it exactly correct. Lichtenstein and Warhol (and others) took images and modified them, usually considerably, to make specific, different images than the originals, with different messages. Frankly, to me, it isn't a subtle difference. No one will confuse Warhol's soup cans with an advertisement for soup.

    You might say the same thing for the sampling that is done in some music.

    What this fellow is doing isn't pop art, it isn't sampling, it isn't satire, it isn't an art student copying a master to learn the craft, it is theft, pure and simple.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    What makes it worse than just copying a work of art is that It's not only a copy of the work of art (the cover) but a copy of the design of the subject that the work of art depicts (the design of the ship or floating city).

    If an artist makes a painting of something tangeble, like the leaning tower of Pisa. And; a second artist draws on just like it with a few highligts or something, then at least the only thing copied is the artwork because the subject exists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Only if you said: "Pure plagiarism; not even a question in my book."
    Or not.
    Nononononono. No. That would just be a bad parody. A chicken painted as a parrot. Not art. No. Nonono. My...adaptation...interpretation if you so prefer...took a previous post as a starting point, a dogma, and by changing the ";" into a "," it totally transformed its artistic meaning into a different dimension. Suddenly the audience no longer looking at two slightly connected phrases but at a continuous thought with a small pauze to stress the ever-important denial that is "not". This way, the statement indeed becomes a metaphor for life itself. The artist takes an everyday, nearly meaningless statement and through miniscule changes he transforms it into something as important and complete as the Universe. The artist confronts us with just how close we are to geniality, but time and time again we fail to see these little changes that could make us majestic.

    The post is for sale for 5 million $. The "," version that is, obviously.

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    On a more serious note, I cannot compare this to Warhol. This is just copying. Good technique, zero artistic input. If I'm not mistaken, this painter later also made his own artistic output which isn't bad at all, but somehow these early copies suddenly become "important art" while they're really not, just because of the artist's later work.

    Warhol is about iconising and not about copying, he really did something to an image to achieve a certain result and he had his own recognizable style. Warhol's work needs an explanation, but it's an explanation that makes sense.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2014-Jan-10 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Viehoff View Post
    There's a short story by Borges in which he describes a writer working in the 19th century. The fictional writer, deliberately choosing to write in the style of a 16th century writer, by extraordinary chance reproduces Don Quijote by Cervantes, despite never having seen it. Borges, as narrator, argues that this is a greater work of art than Cervantes' original. Of course this is not a deliberate but an accidental copy, but it does present the thought that the same thing in a different context can be importantly different.

    There's an artist who by hand draws hand-draws copies of US banknotes, at exactly the same size, with very considerable draftsmanship. He sells these "works of arts" by "spending them", with the consent of the other party, often with an exchange value considerably in excess of the face quantity of the currency. The recipients usually frame them. Occasionally there are variant notes, such as a different portrait, or a non-existent denomination. Unfortunately the Fed suffers from a lack of common sense and he was prosecuted for forgery.
    I think these are very different cases: the first, in that it's a work of fiction, which itself is a piece of art (I've not read Borges, but I do know he is one of the great writers of the 20th Century); accidentally replicating an original work my not be greater art than the original, but it's not lesser either: the keyword is "accidentally." In the second, the artist is replicating, by hand, the result of a complex industrial process.

    As an aside, I think the artist was J S G Boggs. Ironically, it seems he has people copying the physical parts of his work: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs...oneyartist.htm
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    I took a lot of intellectual property classes in law school and I still can't tell when something is copyright infringement. This sure seems like it, but who knows. Copyright law is complicated.

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    i was involved in a few copyright cases where the reasonable man concept was applied. In one a copy of a telephone design, the court had to decide "would a reasonable man say this was copied from this earlier design (not just literally from the drawings where the copyright strictly lies) and also is it reasonable to assume the copier had access to the design. So two tests there and in that case although the copy was not an exact copy, the court found it was infringement. I was also in a case where one of my designs was copied and the case which we won hinged on whether the court believed the copy designer who claimed never to have seen the original as defence. I would think the copyright owners of that illustration OP would have a good case for damages if they chose to go to court.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Apart from Foss givinghim permission to use his images when the guy was a student.
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    We had a guy here selling paintings on an internet auction site. Very well made paintings.

    But then a photographer recognised some scenes. Turned out the great painter was painting off the photographers pictures.

    The painter got shut down. The skill in painting was there, but not the skill in finding, framing, and composing the scenes.
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

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    I was involved in a biggish Internet sf-f art gallery a while ago and we constantly ran into the problem of people copying copyrighted artwork and reacting surprised when we took it down. The fact that you painted it yourself does not mean that it isn't copied. And it would be the site owners that would get in trouble for displaying copyright infringing material on their page.

    And yes, that artist would not be allowed to display there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Apart from Foss givinghim permission to use his images when the guy was a student.
    touche; I did not know that but I would wonder if permission as a student to learn technique is assumed to be permission to sell, for a large sum, the copy. We all have the right to use intellectual property for research or even educational purposes, it is when money is earned it gets interesting.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    touche; I did not know that but I would wonder if permission as a student to learn technique is assumed to be permission to sell, for a large sum, the copy. We all have the right to use intellectual property for research or even educational purposes, it is when money is earned it gets interesting.
    But if said painting has been sold earlier so the current seller (moneymaker) isn't the painter/copyer, it gets legally interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    But if said painting has been sold earlier so the current seller (moneymaker) isn't the painter/copyer, it gets legally interesting.
    That should be fairly straightforward. A copier needs the consent of the current owner of a copyright, whether that owner is the creator of the work or not. Whether or not the creator has a say in such consent would depend on the terms of the contract of the original purchase from the creator.

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