Who Does Art Belong To?

Lawyers can fight for pretty much the rights, the justice (ideally) of nearly any subject from pharmaceuticals, corporate, criminal, divorce, and my favorite even art. It’s always a question of appropriation, what belongs to whom. In the case of art this is going to go way over anyone’s head because nobody has a clear definition of art (this changes all the time) and then there’s the issue of who owns the art.

Is it the creator? Does the artist really own the art since they really don’t have anything appropriated to the work of art once it has left the studio. In terms of appropriation there is such a thing as artist resale rights (or droit de suite in French the origin of the term) where the artist is allowed to claim royalties, a percentage of a final sale price when a public transaction has been made. However artist resale rights only exist in certain countries (not the USA mostly) so whether the art belongs to the original creator might depend on your nationality? Seems a bit manipulative.

Then there’s the artist gallery relationship. The artist produces the work, but the gallery representing the artist has some ownership rights over the work- they generally get a generous 50% cut of the final sale price for all the work they do to get the art noticed. But then if belonging changes through transactions if the art is bought then does the buyer then own the art? Is it an object with interchangeable rights dependent on that monetary exchange? Some people might even argue that art should belong to the people, this proletariat view seems to be easiest to fight for, but private viewing minimizes that belonging to the person with the biggest pocket book.

Let’s say art does belong to everyone, to the world, art is a child of the world and therefore is owned and belongs to everyone.

They also say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes it’s argued art only exists to serve its when there is a viewer at hand (meaning art for arts sake belongs to itself.) This cliché statement poses so many problems for instance not all art is beautiful, aesthetics doesn’t imply beauty. If art is so subjective that belonging changes according to the viewer then appropriation of art is practically impossible- so why even fight about and create laws for it?

Then why is it whenever there is a conversation between artworks, if too much is ‘borrowed’ from one work a lawsuit of copyright issues arises?

Examples are Shephard Fairey and the Associated Press concerning the Obama Hope posters. The Associated Press is suing Fairey for copyright infringement among other things because he mass produced a picture originally owned by the AP without permission (with his artistic interpretation of course not the exact photograph) The truth is had his posters not made such a statement and if some small scale artist had done the same without as much exposure, conversation, money…it probably would’ve gone unnoticed and been treated as a compliment. Jealousy is a dangerous and vicious creature.

Then there is someone like Richard Prince where the work is mostly a collage of photographs from ads with recognizable brands and figures for these brands. He has been sued by many of the original ‘producers’ of these creative advertisements. He generally uses these photographs out of their original intent and context to create his own collages without of course demanding for the right to use them. But did these originals belong to anyone in the beginning?

It is true a lot of initial work goes into the creation of these photographs especially if a photographer has worked 10 years earning the trust of Rastafarians in the mountains to produce a body of work with a specific intent. But does it end there? Isn’t art about a conversation between already existing work of art, it would be limiting to have the appropriation end any potential discourse. Maybe influence and inspiration should be given credit and maybe explained a bit rather than claiming a whole work as completely original in every way possible.

Then there is what commission can do for appropriation. If a piece is commissioned, does the artwork then belong to the decisions of the pocket book owner? Richard Serra found this out the hard way when he filed a $30 Million lawsuit against the General Services Administration (GSA) for a sculpture he had created called “Tilted Arc” at the 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan and it was very site-specific meaning the creation of the piece was adapted and largely depended on its physical location. It wouldn’t make sense had it been transferred unlike a painting from one gallery to another. The GSA who had commissioned the work were adamant on changing the location, and unfortunately they got their way.

Art Law is growing segment for representing the rights of art in many ways. But the question is still more complicated that before because if you give art a primary holder, it’s meaning (which is already intertwined and convoluted) can be affected by simply giving it an owner.

Source by Kieran Shep

Wall Murals NYC

The Importance of Titles in Art – An Overview

The importance of Titles in Art is immense, as it gives a meaning and a purpose to the artwork. In fact, the Title of an artwork is one of its most artistic and important things. The meaning of the Title usually is interwoven throughout a piece of art and is often times hard to understand. If the Title of an artwork is not mentioned, it becomes the observer’s challenge to interpret it. All this goes on to emphasize the importance of Titles in art.

Framing an Art Title depends on the type of artistic image you are working on. Make sure that your Art Title is in harmony with the theme of your artwork. The connoisseurs will be able to appreciate an artwork better if they have clarity about what they are looking at. The following are some key importance of Titles in art:

o Art Titles are very convenient handles for analyzing, reviewing, and addressing art.

o Most Art Titles are axiomatic, yet perceptive, inducing one to look a bit deeper.

o Most Art Titles have an intentional play of words that make them interesting.

o Sometimes the Art Titles are needed to convey what a viewer thinks of an image.

o The Art Titles are important as they help people remember the particular piece of art they are attached to.

To arrive at an appropriate Title for an artwork, one should primarily consider its purpose. Artists should seek answers to the following questions in order to frame an apt Title for their artwork:

o Is it a piece of a project with a name?

o Is it just a single shot, or an art form that has caught your attention?

Usually, an artwork should have one or two sets of Titles. The first Title should be a ‘Working Title’ in combination with a File Number. The second Title is derived from the fragments of what you were thinking while making or processing the piece.

Framing a relevant Art Title is as responsible a job as it is important. A wrongly Titled Art can be quite damaging to the perception of artwork. It can lessen the impact of an image, especially when excessively cute Titles are used to depict the image art. In addition, some abstract Art Titles hamper the imagination of a viewer, when it tends to delineate too much or tries to lead in a direction that the art is not supportive of.

Source by Annette Labedzki

Mural Painter NYC

The Art Of An Essayist By AC Benson – Key To Good Living

An essay is something the writer writes himself. According to Benson, since the very birth of the essay as a genre in the hands of Montaigne, the essay has been a comfortable mixture of the personal and the subjective, and in fact has been the most personal of all genres. The personal touch breathes life and charm into the essay through the personality of the essayist. The charm is evident because the essay is something the writer writes himself where he lays bare his heart in a most confidential manner. An essay can be on a variety of subjects but it should above all exhibit an interest in life. It should reflect the pleasing personality of the author and also change the outlook of the reader. Thus Benson writes, Montaigne, the father of the essay in literature, while writing his essays is concerned with the ‘man Montaigne’. Thus the essay is a reverie for the essayist – it is a loose sequence of thoughts, irregular in nature which dwells on the moment and allows the writer to dwell within and correspond to himself. Montaigne employed such a technique wonderfully while he wrote his essays, presenting a certain mood of the mind, and infusing charm by being intimate and personal.

An essay is something the essayist does by himself. For the essay we may go back to Cicero or Plato. Cicero dealt with abstract topics with a romantic background. Plato discussed speculative and ethical problems of life and tried to find a philosophical interest. The English temperament lacks the charm of Montaigne. They are too prejudiced, secretive, closely guarded about their privacy. But Lord Brougham proved that one can maintain privacy at the same time display oneself.

Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici or Urn Burial contained essays of elaborate rhetorical style. Addison in The Spectator dealt with delicate humour. Charles Lamb dealt with the romantic and homely. De Quincy wrote impassioned autobiography while Pater used the essay for exquisite artistic sensation. In all these writings the common strain is the personal element, the essay reflects the personality of the author.

An essayist is not a poet. An essayist deals to some extent with humour. But humour is alien to poetry which is more of a sacred and solemn mood. The poet is emotional, reverential, excitable, in search of the sublime and the uplifted. He wants to transcend the mundane petty daily frets, the discordant, undignified elements of life. The similarity of the essayist with the poet is that an essayist can also make an effort to kindle emotion. But an essayist uses the commonest materials of life and transforms simple experiences with a fairy tale delicacy and romantic glow. Behind all forms of art whether, whether poetry or prose lies the principle of wonder, of arrested attention. It need not only be the sense of beauty, but also the sense of fitness, strangeness, completeness, effective effort. The amazement a savage feels on seeing a civilized city is not the sense of beauty but the sense of force, mysterious resources, incredible products, unintelligible things. He also sees the grotesque, absurd, amusing and jocose. The essayist deals with these basic emotions. He filters out the salient matters from these instinctive emotions and records them in impressive language.

So an essayist is a spectator of life. As catalogued in Browning’s poem “how It Strikes A Contemporary” the essayist’s material is watching the cobbler at trade, the man who slices lemon, the coffee-roaster’s brazier, the books on stalls, the bold-print posters on the wall, a man beating his horse or cursing a woman and so on. The essayist selects his setting, maybe a street, countryside or picture gallery. But once he selects he has to get into the heart of it.

The essayist must have largeness of mind. He cannot simply indulge in his activity whether of a politician or a thief with the sole objective of making profit. He cannot be prejudiced in his favours, i.e. he should not hate his opponents and favour his friends. If he condemns, despises, disapproves he loses sympathy. He must have an all encompassing mind to enjoy all he thinks worth recording, and not be narrow minded. Close jacketed persons like a banker, social reformer, forensic pleader, fanatic, crank or puritan cannot be an essayist. The essayist has to be broadminded but not moral. He must be tolerant, he must discern quality, he must be concerned with the general picture of life in connection with setting and people, not aims and objectives.

The charm of the essayist lies in translating a sense of good humour, graciousness, reasonable nature and in the effort to establish a pleasant friendship with the reader. One does not read the essay for information or definition, but to find an acceptable solution to a mass of entangled problems which arise in our daily lives and in our relationships with people. The essayist would take up some problem of daily life and delve into it to find out reasons for our fitful actions, reasons for our attraction or repulsion towards people and try to suggest a theory for it. Reading an essay a reader should be compelled to confess that he had thought in the same vein but had never discerned the connection. The essayist must realize that most people’s convictions are not a result of reason but a mass of jumbled up associations, traditions, half understood phrases, loyalties, whims etc.

The essayist must consider human weakness, not human strength. But while accepting human weakness he must try to infuse flashes of idealism in them. He should keep in mind that human mind in spite of weakness is capable of idealism, passionate visions, irresponsible humour which may shoot from dull cloudy minds. The task of the essayist is to make the reader realize his self worth, that every human mind is capable of getting hold of something big and remote which however may not always be clear in our minds. Human nature is indecisive, it vacillates. The confessed aim of the essayist is to make the reader see that every person has a part to play in life, they have an interest to take in life, that life is a game full of outlets and pulsing channels and life is not only meant for millionaires or politicians.

The essayist therefore ultimately teaches that life is not just about success but in fullness. Success may blur our vision of life and make a person full of self importance. What matters is how much a person can give than take.

The similarity between an essayist and a poet is that both perceive the greatness of life. But the essayist works with humbler material. The essayist is not a romancer because he does not deal with fancy but homely material. The essayist has to detect the sublimity of life. Life is not always exciting, not always expectant of something about to happen. There are monotonous gaps in between. An essayist’s task is to bring out something rich and strange out of those monotonous gaps.

Thus an Essay as a genre cannot be strictly classified too. It is like an organ prelude that can be moderated, modulated and coloured. It is to some extent criticism of life too. It is a learning process that teaches not to condemn the negative but perceive the fullness of life and encompass all experience. An essayist is an interpreter of life. He is within a short compass a combination of the historian, philosopher, poet, novelist. He observes and analyses life, colours it with his fancy, enjoys the charm and quality of simple things and endeavours to make others lead a better life.

Source by Anuradha Basu

Restuarant Murals