880 – This Sad Burlesque

Every once in a while there is a scandal about the appropriation of images. We had two lately, the affair about the original image that was used by Shepard Fairey for the famous Obama “HOPE” icon, and Richard Prince being sued, but of course this comes up every once in a while.

Now, the question really is, when is using art in arts simply appropriation and plagiarism, and when does it produce a work that stands for its own? Is this something to be avoided? And if so, is it just to play safe, or do you feel a deeper moral obligation? Or is art just another subject of art?

Well, I don’t know if Rembrandt had objected against my use of a poster for his exhibition, but I guess I would not object against finding one of my images in a Rembrandt painting 🙂

Both of today’s images were shot with my new Nikon AF-S 35/1.8G. This is a fine lens and I may write more of a review-type post this weekend, but to wrap it up in one statement I might say: If you are a Nikon DX format shooter, get this lens!

Both of today’s images? Well, yes, the Rembrandt poster with the traffic in the background, and the image of the trees that I have overlaid 🙂

The Song of the Day is “This Sad Burlesque” from the 1993 Elvis Costello / Brodsky Quartet collaboration “The Juliet Letters”. I have no more samples than what Amazon provides (click the ad), but YouTube has a live performance of another piece from the album. This is one classic album not to be missed. Highly recommended!

5 thoughts on “880 – This Sad Burlesque”

  1. Beautiful collage! Wonder what Rembrandt would paint if he lives today. Maybe he would have become a photoprapher;-) Sunny greets

  2. Fine. The red and brown for sure match the expectations when hearing Rembrandt. And the bokeh is gorgeous of course.

  3. it is interesting what a different story the image tells when composed this way. Striking and powerful. It makes us wonder what is going through his mind.

  4. If I had taken the original image which Shepard appropriated almost in its entirety, I would sue his ass sore. However, if Shepard had used that image to create a cultural context as you have done brilliantly here then I’d be quite pleased as the original artists that my work had become an allegorical necessity. Just Thursday I was confronted by a spectacular sculpture of Ghandi that sits in Washington, D.C. I tried to see if I could incorporate it in part or whole into an impression beyond the artist’s. I took maybe five image and stopped. I could find no way that I could use it to say more about anything than the sculptor did.

    Perhaps at some point in the future the meaning of Ghandi might enhance a broader idea I will have. At that point, my images might be resurrected to the compliment of this (unknown) artist.

    Until then the public art adds nothing to my vocabulary. However, note many of your images which rely heavily upon the art of architecture. How do the differ from Shepard’s use of the Obama image?

    I think the answer, once again, has to do with context that is deliberately found to make clear either a sense of place, a deeply felt emotion, an cosmic idea… and the like. However, your images do not rely exclusively upon a base structure which you employ as sort of child’s coloring book. That was Shepard’s mistake. As a proud graffiti artist, Shepard has no respect for intellectual or artistic property. He continually acts as if the works and belongings are his to plunder. Some consider his piracy romantic. Okay… there’s no accounting for the insensitivity we have for others as we attempt to justify our own greed.

    The AP photographer who took President Obama’s picture is entitled to protect his property with the same zeal as you or me. I hope he does, and I hope he is successful. Rights are only those things which you can defend.

  5. Works for me. The context that you provide certainly makes the photo a particular work in its very own right. I really like the contrast between the lively lights and the somewhat broody, dark-brown face.

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