Friday, November 6, 2015

Original Art or Not?? Off the Wall Friday

My inspiration 
First of all, so sorry to worry everyone with not have an OTWF post for  two weeks.  I know its the first time I've missed in three years. The first week there were technical issues and we lost our internet.  The second I had gotten some bad news and we lost a close family friend to cancer.  But thank you for understanding.   From the amount of emails I got, I felt very loved and I will endeavor to not miss another week.  Funny,  how you can talk yourself right into the idea that "Who cares" and "It won't be missed"!

Color Inspiration
So anyways, through the grace of God and routine of life, I'm back on track  With that  I'm starting a new project.  I'm finally getting back to the idea using on of the photos of I  manipulated using Lunapic.    I have it all printed out, pattern made AND a palette chosen from .   I once again went to my pinterst boards of Color Inspiration in picking out the colors I wanted to work in.  I guess my love affair with red and teal is not  over!!

This all brings up an interest topic that right now is raging on the QuiltArt  maillist ....What is original art.  Now, a lot of us, work from photos.  Since I publish my process, you all know that for the last 5 years,  I normally use a copyright free image, manipulated it beyond recognition and use that as my base pattern.  (If you didn't know that  - just follow along with my new piece).  Now I would say my work is original art even thought it was born in someone else's photo because even I'm hard pressed to see the original photo in my finished piece.

Curves Inspiration
With this year's  International Quilt  Association winners announced in Houston this week, comes the controversy.  Now its not unusual for winners to include quilts that are exact copies of masterpiece art works.  After all IQA is NOT an art  show.  It celebrates and rewards the amazing workmanship of the winning quilts.  (Amazing workmanship is an understatement).  What the rules don't require is that the pieces be truly  - from start to finish - original.  So its okay to copy any copyright free or permission given image.

Final Piece - Could you recognize it from the photo?
What I found unusual was that in the Art - Painted Surface catagory first and third place were won by Hollis Chatelain a world famous quilter.  Her work is normally based on dreams and her own  original photographs.  She readily touts this on her webpage and in interviews.   Also, its what she teaches in class.  But this year's winners were based directly on photographs taken by someone else (who weren't given attribution).  The photographer decided the composition and captured the moment.  Now Hollis didn't break any rules, but is her work now  her own original art?  Is it derivative because you could easily pick out the images it came from?  All interesting questions since one of the pieces - Girls are Strong  - is still up for sale for $28,000.  (I love the image  of this one is based on and its hung in my cubicle at work).

There are many opinions on this one - so I'll let you decide what's right for you.  Obviously Hollis has.

(I put the links to the referenced photos in the comments section)

So what have you been up to creatively?   


The Inside Stori said...

Yes, you were missed and worried about!!!

Julie Bagamary said...

So sorry for your loss. You were missed.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

So glad to have you back. I knew something must have been up for you to miss two posts in row. You have my condolences.

There are many schools of thought on original art. I'm of the "is anything truly original?" school. Many fiber artists take their own photos and then recreate them in fiber. Is what Hollis did so different? Especially, since I trust this isn't a copyright issue.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

So glad you are back! Sorry to hear about your loss. I didn't know that about the images Hollis worked from. I too am of the thought that there isn't a lot of truly original work. But I am surprised that Hollis would not attribute the photographer. Perhaps there is more to this story.

As to your piece, I see the inspiration but in no way do I see it as a copy.

Judy Warner said...

I missed you too! I knew something must be up and I am sorry to hear about your loss. I had just picked up a mention last night of the Hollis image issue. I sometimes work from other's photographs but only with permission and I mention them in my write-ups. Another winner, Gillian Shearer, worked from a photograph and mentioned the photographer's name in her acceptance speech. I loved her quilt and mention it in my blog post today. That all felt very appropriate to me.

quiltedfabricart said...

I'm so glad you are ok but also sorry for the loss of your family member. I had visions of you in the hospital, hooked up to machines in a coma then waking up and whispering to your husband - tell my blog followers To carry on without me! Oh! No!

Glad to see you back to creating :-)

Angela said...

Glad to see you back! You were missed!

Margaret said...

I too missed you! So sorry for the loss of your friend; glad you are finding some creative therapy. :-)

I'd not heard about the issue with the photo and Ms. Chatelain till I read your post. Ms. C. herself is an accomplished photographer; perhaps she took the photo herself, so no need to attribute, even as a courtesy. I tend to work only from my own photos but occasionally I haven't, I try to always attribute the inspirational source. Interestingly, this month in the Master Class we are working from someone else's photos...

Nina Marie said...

Sorry, I probably should have included the links to the two photos, and.

JOY @ said...

So glad you are back, and so sorry for your lose.

Susan said...

Both of the photos on those links have restricted licenses, so I don't understand how Hollis could recreate the photos in for-sale works at all, let alone without attribution! I'm not a lawyer though, so what do I know.

The Idaho Beauty said...

I read the licensing agreement on the freeimages site and it is confusing and murky at best. In one paragraph it says "No False Representation of Authorship. You may not falsely represent that you are the original creator of a work that is made up largely of licensed content. For instance, you cannot create a painting or deviation/manipulation based on licensed content and claim that you are the author." In the next section it states that "you do not need to include a photo credit for commercial use..." Actually, Hollis does say on her website statement about Golden Girl that it was inspired by a photograph by Simon Jackson.

There's also a section about products for resale: "You may not use content in connection with any goods or services intended for resale or distribution where the primary value lies in the content itself including, without limitation, cards, stationery items, paper products, calendars, apparel items, posters (printed on paper, canvas, or any other media), CDs, DVDs, mobile applications or other items for resale, license or other distribution for profit." I see that Hollis has prints available for sale on her website of "Golden Girl" based on a photo on this site. Is she out of bounds of the licensing agreement?

And then there are more "broader rights" available in other content and licensing options. Perhaps Hollis took advantage of what's available there.

As for "Girls are Strong" Hollis makes no reference whatsoever to the licensed photograph she quite literally copied except for changing the face on the girl. It's a beautiful story she spins about the women in her family, but I am less impressed with it now that I know the idea for the image was not hers. Why would she not mention that seeing that photo reminded her of her mother's fight for equal rights?

Frankly, it's hard for me to believe Hollis would use licensed images so closely without having acquired the proper permissions. Perhaps that does not require her to "give credit where credit is due" but given her previous work, it is highly misleading. It makes me suspect of other work that I always assumed was out of her own experiences or imagination. Of course, many would say (and already have said) so what? But I do think it matters on some level. She's not being transparent and people don't like feeling like they've been taken. And indeed, I feel taken. There's more to being an artist than being a great technician.

Not privy to the discussion about this going on elsewhere. Would be interesting to hear the pros and cons and of course, to hear Hollis weigh in as well.

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

Nina: I am so glad to hear you are back on track... sorry for the pain in losing a loved one. We missed you and appreciate everything you do to host this great link up.

Terry Aske Art Quilts said...

Nina, I missed you too. Sorry for your loss.

When I didn't see a recent post on your blog, I took the opportunity to look at some of your earlier posts, and found your review of The Art Forger. I'm really enjoying it!