Wow - what a great discussion for the students to have - even throw in
this article about Richard Prince:
If the Copy Is an Artwork, Then What's the Original?
By RANDY KENNEDY
Published: December 6, 2007
Since the late 1970s, when Richard Prince became known as a pioneer of
appropriation art - photographing other photographs, usually from
magazine ads, then enlarging and exhibiting them in galleries - the
question has always hovered just outside the frames: What do the
photographers who took the original pictures think of these pictures of
their pictures, apotheosized into art but without their names anywhere
So What's the Original? Recently a successful commercial photographer
from Chicago named Jim Krantz was in New York and paid a quick visit to
the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where Mr. Prince is having a
well-regarded 30-year retrospective that continues through Jan. 9. But
even before Mr. Krantz entered the museum's spiral, he was stopped short
by an image on a poster outside advertising the show, a rough-hewn
close-up of a cowboy's hat and outstretched arm.
Mr. Krantz knew it quite well. He had shot it in the late 1990s on a
ranch in the small town of Albany, Tex., for a Marlboro advertisement.
"Like anyone who knows his work," Mr. Krantz said of his picture in a
telephone interview, "it's like seeing yourself in a mirror." He did not
investigate much further to see if any other photos hanging in the
museum might be his own, but said of his visit that day, "When I left, I
didn't know if I should be proud, or if I looked like an idiot."
Drawing from real life is wonderful - but we use photographs for our
proportional grid self-portraits - and copying other artwork didn't seem
to hurt van Gogh (and more) - I would be interested to hear what the
students think -