Archive for February, 2009
The concept of “Fair Use” has been a frequent subject of discussion here on Supertouch lately. The ASSOCIATED PRESS‘ new claim that SHEPARD FAIREY‘s ubiquitous artwork created for BARACK OBAMA‘s presidential campaign violates the copyright of a photo in their archive will now prove yet another test of this conceptual cornerstone of the modern art world:
On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year’s presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
“The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission,” the AP’s director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.
“AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey’s attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution.”
“We believe fair use protects Shepard’s right to do what he did here,” says Fairey’s attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP.”
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work. Click HERE to continue reading…
Supertouch homegirl and allstar DEITCH GALLERY director NICOLA VASSELL is one of the downtown NYC art scene’s most important operators. This week finds the NEW YORK TIMES dedicating an almost unprecedented amount of ink to profiling the gorgeous young aesthete, one that might just emerge as one of the city’s new powerbrokers when the art world finally rights itself in the coming years (decades?):
A SHAPER OF TALENT FOR A CHANGING ART WORLD
By Felicia R. Lee
February 2, 2009 Source: NYTimes
The wall labels were missing. The inventory needed to be finished. And where was the sign for the shuttle bus to the gallery, a former warehouse west of the Wynwood art district in Miami? Just hours before the opening party for “It Ain’t Fair,” an exhibition of more than 30 emerging artists on the fringe of Art Basel Miami Beach, the glamorous, outsize international art fair held every year in early December, the O.H.W.O.W. gallery (for Our House West of Wynwood) was still strewn with forlorn boxes, the wall stacked with cases of beer that only hinted at the festivities to come.
“No one will ever know,” Nicola Vassell, a director at the Deitch Projects gallery in Manhattan, said of the mess. Her comment was for Kathy Grayson, also a Deitch director and, like Ms. Vassell, one of several curators of “It Ain’t Fair.”
Ms. Vassell, 30, began working as an intern at Deitch in SoHo in 2005, when both optimism and price tags ran high. But by the time “It Ain’t Fair” was poised to open, on Dec. 2, the previous month had easily seen the worst two weeks in the art market in more than a decade. A tumbling stock market and cascading problems on Wall Street had made buyers scarce, as the contemporary art world pondered the impact of broader economic woes. Ms. Vassell, a former model and a Jamaican immigrant, found herself facing the question of how to build a career in a suddenly contracting industry. Click HERE to continue reading…
2009 really is SHEPARD FAIREY‘s year; we’re just living in it. On the eve of today’s press preview of his massive retrospective art show at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON, Shepard spoke to CHARLIE ROSE last nite about the intricacies of branding a presidential campaign from street level.
The eyes of the world are on Kenya... French outdoor installation artist (call it “street art” if you must) extraordinaire JR continues his epic 28 MILLIMETER: WOMEN Project with the unveiling this week of his most ambitious stage yet in KIBERA, KENYA. Reconnecting with the subjects he photographed over a year ago in the city—one of the largest slums in Africa—at the start of his mission to portray on a grand scale the unseen and unempowered women of the world, the reunion was an especially poignant moment for the artist. With the help of enthusiastic residents, JR managed to cover 2,000 square meters of local rooftops with photos of the eyes and faces of the women of Kibera, giving them a monumental voice and presence in a city where their own existence is often marginalized.Read More
Today’s insider must-read again comes from Supertouch favorite THE DAILY BEAST where ARNE GLIMCHER astutely expounds on the state of the modern art world and how we got to this point exactly:
BRAVE NEW ART WORLD
By Arne Glimcher
Despite cooling sales, more art was produced in the last decade than at any other time in history.
Once upon a time there was an avant-garde art world in New York where artists created work unlike anything we had ever seen before. A few people loved it, but the general public was appalled. As a result of World War II, European artists migrated to America enlarging the scene and diminishing Paris as the center. America was beginning its dominance of the art world with the emergence of the Abstract Expressionists. Then in 1956, Life magazine published a piece on Pollock entitled “Jack the Dripper.” It was the first media interest in avant-garde art. Media interest waned until the ‘60s when Pop Art captured its attention as a celebration of the media itself. If Abstract Expression reached for the sublime, Pop turned ordinary imagery into icons. Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol illuminated the transformative power of context and the process of reproduction. Claes Oldenburg’s soft ice-cream cones and hamburgers changed sculpture from hard to soft, from stasis to transformation.
Pop and fashion fused when the haute monde beat a path to Warhol’s Factory door. Society millionaires (yes, there was a time when being rich meant being a millionaire) had their portraits painted by Andy and mingled with artists at Halston’s parties. It was the courtship of art and fashion culminating in marriage and currently rumored to be filing for divorce. There were perhaps 100 collectors of contemporary art internationally back then, and every sale was a miracle. Being there was choosing a life in art. By the 1970s, the Minimalists challenged our perception of the nature of art. Dealers—currently known as “gallerists,” perhaps so as not to be confused with “drug dealers”—supported their artists with modest stipends and exhibitions in which hopefully something would sell. Click HERE to read on…
All the bombs, guns, and tanks in the world can’t change AFGHANISTAN, but maybe skateboarding can. In war-torn KABUL, where women wear burkhas, and school age children roam the streets instead of studying in classrooms (less than 1% of Afghanis attend college) the first skateboarding school, SKATEISTAN has just opened its doors and is teaching more girls than boys how to ollie. It’s also educating young rippers on the finer points of bowl skating in an abandoned swimming pool formerly used by the Taliban for public executions. Take that, Mullah Omar!
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE:
SHEPARD FAIREY AND THE ART OF APPROPRIATIONAs underground art phenomenon SHEPARD FAIREY’s first major museum retrospective prepares to open at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON on February 6th, we feel the need to address some of the vicious and unfounded rumors surrounding the originality of Shepard’s artwork that have been floated online in recent years. Though written by a variety of different detractors for a questionable array of reasons, the common thread binding them all—aside from a thinly masked veneer of obvious envy in most cases—is a nearly ubiquitous lack of understanding of the artist’s use of appropriated imagery in his work and the longstanding historical precedent for this mode of creative expression. Read More
Graffiti writer and artist ESPO (aka: Stephen Powers) weighs in with his thoughts on the so-called world of “street art” with his January design for monthly T-shirt subscription service, T-SHIRT MONTHLY. Subscribe now and wear yours with pride…
One thing’s for certain about NYC-based artist, street bomber, & sign painter extraordinaire STEPHEN POWERS (aka: ESPO), his career moves fast with international shows of his trademark enamel on metal quips firing off around the world at a breakneck pace. This month finds the hightop-faded one debuting an extensive set of new works in “Semaphores of the Soul,” at Brussels’ esteemed ALICE GALLERY where red dots on the space’s white walls attested to the enduring strength of Powers’ market despite the art world’s current economic woes. Local fans flooded the spot where the red hooded power trio known as LES BOURREAUX closed out the night and nearly drew the cops. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Otaku toy collectors are rejoicing at the upcoming joint show at Tokyo hotspot STITCH between TIM BISKUP and mad scientist Japanese designer T9G (Ta-Ku-Ji) whose wild remixes of each other’s iconic figures are poised to single-handedly breathe new life into the slumping vinyl toy genre. Dubbed the “T x T Project,” the show will also feature a colorful array of brand new Tim Biskup Kaiju paintings alongside the release of several incredibly rare production vinyl toys and art prints created especially for the occasion. The jump-off is February 6th, frequent flying toy nerds best cash in their miles now. HAVE A LOOK: Read More