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Friday, August 29, 2008

Exhibition controversy

There's a controversy concerning the top award winner in a national competition this year. It appears the subject is identical to a photograph posted on a stock-photo site, and the original photographer is hopping mad. There are several issues here. The first is the violation of the photographer's copyright. The photo site terms of service state that the photographers who post their images on the site are the sole owners of the copyright. The second is that the show prospectus bars copies from competition, so even if the photographer gave the artist permission to use the photo, it wouldn't be ethical to send the work to the competition. This is a messy situation, as the artist has won awards with similar works in other shows and was quoted in a published article describing how the photos were taken for the compositions. One artist suggested that the artist may have inkjet-printed the photo onto watercolor paper and painted over it in a pointillist manner. Is that possible? I have no idea. Since the outcry began, her website, video clips and images have vanished from the Web. More recently, (this noted in 10/23/08) the thread where thousands of artists publicly discussed the situation has been removed from WetCanvas. Has censorship of free speech been added to this nasty mix?

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sydney Harper said...

You can buy watercolor paper for inkjet printers and, apparently, archival quality ink. I've never tried to even print on watercolor paper so I don't know how well it would work. Thanks for pointing this out!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Katherine Tyrrell said...

I've been following this Nita and have been thinking about writing a blog post about it too - so many thanks for kicking off a discussion about it within the art blog world - I'll be referencing this post in my round-up blog post on Sunday

I've no expertise in such matters but the way I read one commentator he seemed to be suggesting that there was very little (if any) difference between the way a giclee print is laid down by an ink jet printer and the way she says she works in spraying acrylic(?) onto paper.

I think the point more than one person is making (if you go to the Shutterstock thread about this) is that all the imperfections in the photo are reproduced in the gold medal winning painting - and they seem to be drawing some rather negative conclusions as a result.......

8:47 AM  
Blogger Nita said...

So far there hasn't been any resolution to this issue that I can see. I'll be sure to pass it on when I hear something.

11:24 AM  

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