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[teacherartexchange] Appropriation of images


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Feb 15 2007 - 12:57:43 PST

Jackie and all,

There is a lot out there on the topic of appropriation.

Here is a 22 page pdf file:

Some notes from this paper - by same author:
"Let me turn now to the examples involving appropriation art.
Incorporating a copyrighted photograph into a unique collage should be
an easy case. Since the photographer has been paid for his print,
allowing appropriation would produce minimal incentive benefits but
potentially large access and administrative costs. Like the case
involving pictures affixed to tiles, the socially efficient outcome is
probably to allow the artist to use the image without the copyright
holder's permission. The case might come out the other way, however, a
court might find that the derivative works right trumps the first sale

"One is more sympathetic to the claims brought by commercial
photographers against Rauschenberg and Warhol for making prints based
on copyrighted photographs."
(copied from above link)

Good Wikipedia article:

Appropriation - To take possession of another's material, often
without permission, reusing it in a context which differs from its
original context, most often in order to examine issues concerning
originality or to reveal meaning not previously seen in the original.
This is far more aggressive than allusion or quotation, it is not the
same as plagiarism however. An image reused in collage is an example,
but more complete are the photographs that Sherri Levine (American)
made of photographs by earlier photographers.

From Artlex:

Kiddos need to know that Andy Warhol didn't get away with using
cultural icons. Quaker Oats would not let him use Aunt Jemima. He was
sued by photographers - and settled. Rauschenberg lost one case...
Jeff Koons lost his case where he made a derived work (from a
photograph). Just because Andy did it doesn't make it legal. You are
wise to have the students ask permission. I can't hurt. Companies can
not prevent the students from making the art. They can only prevent
public display. Trademark forms request to see a sample of the art
that is to be created - thus granting permission. The forms requesting
to do art using Martin Luther King Jr also asked to see a sample of
the art to be created.

Students have a right to use the images of our culture (Freedom of
Expression) - Companies have a right to protect their trademark. I
would allow the use of cultural symbols - particularly when making a
statement about identity - social comment. Students can write the
letters for permission - I imagine they will not be answered. Allow
them to make the art. I wrote letters to National Geographic for
permission to use their images in a collage... I did not get an
answer. It is far easier to apologize than get permission. I apologize
to Nike for allowing a student to put a Nike symbol on his temple
frame.... That was a statement of our culture and actually a parody in
a way (Temple Nike inspired his frame). I apologize to Coke, Pepsi
and the like for allowing my students to draw their product..... I
apologize to.... the list goes on.

By the way.... Volkswagen of America seems to have left Don Stewart
alone. He is still selling prints of his VW Bug and Pill Bug.

Barry Kite makes art from found images.... look him up. He has never
been sued, but did settle with a photographer by giving him some art
the included the photograph.

Oh...and my apologies to author's who text I grabbed for this post (smile).

Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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