JOSE MARIA CANO, WHAT EXACTLY IS HE DOING?

I want to expose a bold case of plagiarism (?). It's big not just by the amount of used art, but by the amount of recognition, praise and ka-ching this artist seems to be getting! We are talking major art galleries around the world, museums and auction houses. (This is the FINE ART world we're talking about here, baby!)
And, what does he do?
He cuts out portraits from papers, blows them up and painstakingly recreates them in wax paraffin ... dot by dot. He's flying under the cover of "newspaper clipping" appropriation, but does that apply in this case? I say no way Jose!

This is my stipple portrait of Barack Obama

Mine:


His:

Photo: Leslie Guttman




You can clearly see he is getting credited as the author of these portraits.

This is me in my studio holding the original drawing. On my desk are a few of other illustrations I made (all for the Wall Street Journal) also used ("appropriated") by Jose Maria Cano!





Now, here's something I found especially appalling.
Please check out this link:

http://www.doxprague.org/en/exhibition?10/about

It reads:
"Meeting with Vaclav Havel was the last point of Barack Obama's Prague visit. During this private meeting, Vaclav Havel presented American President Barack Obama - a portrait of the president by the Spanish artist José-María Cano.
"José-María Cano generously offered this painting to Vaclav Havel as a gift for Barack Obama", said Leos Valka, director of DOX, Centre for Contemporary art in Holesovice, Prague. The painting will be exhibited at the Centre from Thursday, April 9. until April 27, 2009. After that, the painting, measuring 210 x 149,5 cm, will travel to the White House. The portrait is created using the encaustic technique of painting with hot wax.
After viewing the exhibition Welcome to Capitalism!, which was on view at DOX Centre from last October to February this year, Vaclav Havel was enthusiastic about the Spanish artist's works. Therefore, DOX Centre's director, Leoš Válka offered President Vaclav Havel the option of presenting President Barack Obama with the portrait and Havel welcomed the idea."


This means a copy of a drawing I made was given as a gift to Vaclav Havel who then re-gifted it for president Obama?! And it's now hanging in the White House?! You can bet your knickers I will do my damndest to let the President know he was scammed by the Spaniards and the Czechs! ;-)))

All joking aside (yes, that up there is a bunch of winks, people!), this is no laughing matter and I invite all my friends, all you fellow bloggers, artists and anybody who's concerned about protection of artists' work, to please pass this post along.

Oh, and there's more:
http://www.riflemaker.org/s-next
He's having a solo show at the Riflemaker Gallery in London on November 9th, by the name "The Wall Street 100"! And yes ... you guessed it: he is "using" 100 of our drawings!

His website:
http://www.josemariacano.net/
Press:
http://www.riflemaker.org/s-Cano_Architectural_Digest-09-09

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check latest posts. (I'm somewhat calmer now)
UPDATE 1: http://hedcuts.blogspot.com/2009/10/update-on-my-con-expo-tirade.html
UPDATE 2: http://hedcuts.blogspot.com/2009/10/hot-wax-remix.html
UPDATE 3: http://hedcuts.blogspot.com/2009/10/from-boo-hoo-to-brouhaha.html

To the Spanish and the Czechs ... I was totally joking! I thought that was clear, but since a few took offence, I apologize.

296 comments:

1 – 200 of 296   Newer›   Newest»
Timlee said...

Do you own the rights to the image or does the Wall Street Journal?

Noli said...

Timlee, Journal owns the rights. I am a staff illustrator at the paper.

Franziska Gonzalez said...

Did the painter Jose Maria Cano get the image from a public the paper, or did he copy it from something he saw in your home and used it???

Noli said...

Franziska, I'm sorry but I don't understand your question. Please read my post again. I think I explained clearly what he's doing.

Timlee said...

Is the original image yours to sell? Have you sold it?

Anonymous said...

Cool story bro!

ashton cahn said...

Just seems like appropriation. His paintings aren't hiding the fact that they are from the paper. I don't really see anything wrong with appropriation.

Dan said...

Regardless of the rights. Are the drawings in the hedcuts taken from photographs of the subject? If so, who does the photography?

Anonymous said...

Your picture wasn't in that style, though. What makes it art is the perspective on it he used along with the writing and font on their side of it. This seems a little petty considering you've said that you don't even own the rights to it yourself.

Anonymous said...

You're kinda cute when you're angry :)

Anonymous said...

It boggles my mind that in such a short space so many commenters very painfully obviously have not even read your entire post.

Maybe you need a TL;DR summary at the bottom. Jeez guys... maybe there's just too much text for you on the web, maybe go try watching TV instead. Cripes.

Anonymous said...

Humm... Warhol's Brillo soap pad boxes, he copied in scale. There is some comparison here, as was there some contentiousness with some of Andy Warhol's work.

Take a new tack, go on the offensive with a large upscaled retrospective of your work in advance.

Noli said...

@Timlee, no the originals eventually get stored at the the WSJ archives.

@Ashton, we'll see what the legal explanation is.

I understand what a "newspaper clipping" is and an appropriation of such, but making series of blown up portraits with little else BUT the drawing? Bold! And for all of the chatters out there .... I know well enough I'm not getting anything out of this so relax! I'm simply exposing a plagiarist! This particular drawing is mine any way you put it, reproduce it or appropriate it!

Anonymous said...

"This particular drawing is mine any way you put it, reproduce it or appropriate it!"

You're absolutely right about that. I find this despicable. I'd also like to say that you're a fabulous artist!

flashman said...

How do you feel about Roy Liechtenstein? His "Drowning Girl" was a reproduction of part of DC Comics's "Secret Hearts #83", and his "Whaam!" comes from All American Men of War #89.

Cano's work is a reproduction of images created by employees of the Wall Street Journal. OK, you're mad about it, but is what he did really wrong - and in what sense? Legal, ethical, artistic?

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. But how is this different from Andy Warhol appropriating a Campbell Soup Can for his prints?

Anonymous said...

I think people are being duped because they assume the original newspaper clipping was a PHOTO he painted in that style, not something he just ripped off.

Harold Fowler said...

Dude sounds like a major egg head!

RT
www.true-privacy.net.tc

Anonymous said...

This is theft

Tony said...

I'm curious what your take on the Shepard Fairey/AP controversy is...

Anonymous said...

Seems crummy to me if that's allowed to fly under appropriation law, since its obvious he just slapped your artwork on his print and didn't bother to credit you as the original artist.

Yes, I can see the newspaper text around the borders of the piece but barely any of it is legible nor is it even the focal point of the artwork. Doesn't matter if the rights to the original image belong to a journal or a staff artist, it still seems lame to try and pass it off as something he created when he didn't.

Hope it works out and you get your due credit when it goes on display.

ddrt said...

This is the definition of plagiarism why is this even up for debate? I've seen pictures on websites scanned in from newspapers and magazines taken down faster than this is being dealt with and these are HAND DRAWN pieces... he has no right what-so-ever

burtonator said...

Hugs... that's horrible.

I really hope you receive an apology.....

Anonymous said...

I think it's theft of your intellectual property. Or the WSJ's, whatever the case may be. At the very least they should give you the credit, not the dumbass who simply turned your work into a poster! Grrr.

Blutter said...

get over it dude youre a corporate slave and you work for rhe man and this guy uses the man's product in his art. youre really talented but you have opted for stability instead of fame. don't be bitter about your decisions in life change them if they dont suit you.

Anonymous said...

I understand where you are coming from; however, the reproduction is an exact replica of the WSJ, correct? You do not hold the copyright, nor do you receive creative recognition by the paper, right? If your signature had been at the bottom of the original image and left out of the reproduction, that would be very bad. In this case, I find myself split between recognition and artistic style.

Anonymous said...

Art is art. I would be honored.

Dave said...

While I sympathize, wasn't he the one who thought to cut out parts and blow it up? Its the the most elegant piece of art, but neither was Andy Worhol's Campbell's Soup can.

Anonymous said...

I belive, that since it is indeed art, no one has the rights to it. It may not be ethical, but he did change the background, which i believe makes it "his" art now.

like i said...that is what i know to be true. Someone please correct me if i am wrong

john said...

I think it was Picasso said something along the lines "good artists copy, great artists steal."Still, I don't think his work's too good. Speaking purely from an artistic standpoint, not knocking your drawings, which are better than anything I'd dream of trying.

Anonymous said...

If he is posing as an artist, he needs to add something to the original, besides just blowing it up. Just blowing it up makes him a printer, not an artist, And he should have the courtsey to acknowledge the source and the original artist.My support goes to the blogger (Noli).

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to verify this.

kieranmullen said...

Have you notified the WSJ legal team about it? What do they think?

Adam said...

The copyright issue will primarily be whether he has done anything "transformative" with your work. Considering he just took it straight out of the newspaper and magnified it, he's basically screwed.

Mary said...

i work in a copy shop and have to deal with copy right issues all the time. anything created by an artist is copy right to them when they create it- doesn't matter if it is in a "free" publication or not. even if the work is taken and manipulated (enlarged, mirrored, negative, colored, etc) it is still under it's original copy right.

Eric Williams said...

It's cool that these portraits are still done by hand. I had assumed that these days they were done using Photoshop filters.

I'm curious, though: Do the WSJ artists use some existing photograph as the basis for a stipple portrait?

theducks said...

Noli, Your art is amazing, and it is disgusting that this guy is simply copying it to large size (by painting) and calling them his art. I'm sure WSJ has a legal team who will take care of this.

HCH said...

He's passing your work off as his. You are 100% right.

Rainbird said...

Noli, you are right to be upset with this "artist." Cano has not created a substantially derivative artwork. It's a mechanical copy of your work, without any distinct artistic interpretation, and in flagrant violation of copyright, and your artistic rights; no way does this appear to be an example of "fair use." I hope that the WSJ lawyers make an example of him. Labeling this blatant theft as part of the the "Wall Street 100" is inadequate justification for such egregious behavior.

Anonymous said...

These cases generally turn on whether the "artist" has added anything meaningful to or expressed a message beyond the original work, at least in the US. I don't think that Mr. Cano gets there simply by making a really big copy. Perhaps he'll argue that the words he's added around the portrait have some meaning, but I'm not convinced. Good luck!

mattgolsen said...

I'm not sure if it's the same one, but this "art" is currently hanging up in the hotel/art museum 21c in Louisville, Kentucky. I was recently at a function there, saw it and I remembered your work of Obama for the WSJ. I didn't even know about this guy, but it's pretty blatant that you're being ripped off.

Your work is singularly more impressive in every way, shape or form than this guys poor attempt at a copy. I hope this ends up biting him.

Anonymous said...

I assume you did the stipple off of a photograph. How is that any different than him doing a wax painting off of your stipple? Even if the Wall Street Journal has the rights to the photograph, unless you credit the photographer in your drawing, you're plagiarizing the photographer in the same manner your accusing this guy of.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's pretty blatant. He even uses the same words from newspaper. Totally unrelated question, what kind of pen do you use to stipple?

Anonymous said...

Do you give credit to the photographer who created the photo that you made the stipple from?

Jayso said...

Sure, the drawing's yours. But the painting's his.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow I'll see a story written by the photographer who took the original image this drawing was based on.

Ryan said...

Surely there are some legal guys at WSJ who can help throw some weight around? Don't they offer to protect you as an employee?

bank sy said...

I agree. If the "artist" added something to make it unique then it could be called their own. Simply blowing something up on a special media and calling it your "artwork" is nothing more than fraud.

Elisandro said...

Was your drawing based on a photograph? Do you create your illustrations from memory, or from a composite of images?

Eric J said...

I don't know the legalities on this, but even if this is 100% legal, I still want to punch this guy in the face.

I don't understand "clipping" or "appropriation", but being a (pretty crappy) writer, I do understand plagiarism. It would certainly be illegal for him to make money from any of his so-called appropriations, but I think the issue here is credit where credit is due. I agree completely that Cano should credit any artist whose work he "uses".

Nobody Important said...

So... wait... let me try and understand this.

He made a painting that is just a reproduction of a drawing done by another artist... and he was paid for it?

Is it just me or does art get easier and easier with every generation?

SoulJah said...

I can only shake my internet fist at my general monitor's direction...

Anonymous said...

if the wall street journal owns the rights it's fair game, move on.

Florian said...

Andy Warhol, popart, sucks to be an illustrator, ain't nothing you can do about it, except seeming petty against some smuck popart artist.

David (Dragon) Fiedler said...

This is getting big play on Reddit right now and something I saw there encouraged me to ask you the following question: Did you do that portait from life or from a photograph (and if the latter, did you take the photograph)?

Thanks in advance.

Iain said...

It's not plagiarism because nobody anywhere will ever think that he drew this. It's immediately obvious to the viewer that it's a picture of the very iconic WSJ, the design of which you had no artistic input in whatsoever. You drew a picture in a style that someone else dictated for you from a photograph that somebody else took.

Were you under the impression that Andy Warhol designed the Campbell's soup can logo?

You're clearly very talented, but to suggest that you're the "original artist" of this particular piece is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I would not have seen your art were it not for your post about this matter, just wanted to say that you are a really good artist. Cheers from Amsterdam!

Ps. Yes, I think he should credit the original artists if he does a derivative work. Ds.

Anonymous said...

@Noll I understand the frustration on the matter, but fine art works by different rules. His work does not devalue yours in any way and his use of an alternative technique gives his appropriation merit. You refer to yourself as an artist at one point but then concede to being a staff illustrator at another. Artist work within a specific context (that which he is working in). As I said on Reddit, you both are receiving recognition fir your work, just from different spheres. He didn't steal - he used it as source material for his technically different expressive form.

Mike D said...

The painting is no simply a blown up reproduction of your drawing, the text you quoted says it was produced in the "encaustic technique" which is a completely different medium. He did essentially reproduced your work, but just as you reproduced some photographer's work for your drawing. The fact that he maintained the newsprint makes it clear that his intention was never to deceive his audience. In this case it's not the image reproduced, but the method in use that makes it art. Your Lawyers will agree.

Jake said...

I totally agree with you. At the very least, you're name should be coming up in these talks, if not some financial benefits as well. On the lighter side of this, it shows that you are a great artist and Journalm im sure, realizes this. :D

Paul Brown said...

"I will do my damndest to let the President know he was scammed by the Spaniards and the Czechs!"

Not all the Spaniards an Czechs are scammers. Your wrath would be better directed against the individuals who had the gall of dooing this, not against nations as a whole.

Seandon Mooy said...

I hate to say it, but I feel ambivalent about the issue. He made a sculpture (it is made using wax?) style painting of an image from a major journal. It is even skewed a bit from yours, as if it is from the eyes of someone reading the paper.

Anyways - congratulations! You made it to the White House! I hope you can get the President to acknowledge it was your art that inspired the piece. While your art is clearly better and more original, it doesn't discredit the other. Nice artwork by the way.

Alex said...

I get it. But can't you just be totally amazed and inspired that your work ended up in the White House?

I guess the hot wax thing is interesting and he does take your work and transpose it onto a large canvas, probably texturizing it, giving it some of its appeal. I get your frustration though...

Anonymous said...

IANAL, but I agree it seems like appropriation. I personally think a news clipping looks silly blown up like that without any embellishment. I would have been far more interested to see what the original illustrator would have done with a piece intended for wall hanging. His painting will sadly probably end up in some government storage space somewhere until it is eventually auctioned off.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully you get the credit you deserve for this piece.

Alex said...

Oh, and not saying there's a link here, but didn't Warhol take soup cans and Monroe portraits and turn them into his own artwork? Granted he may have changed colors and tiled them but...

Noli said...

... I should say - done by me, rather than mine! Again, the drawings staff illustrators make for the Journal are Journal's property.

meanguy said...

Good luck with that. Might I suggest a warm bowl of Campbell's soup or an art history class?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Soup_Cans

Anonymous said...

On his website, one picture shows him drawing the picture on a canvas. Does he manually recreate the drawing and associated text on a large canvas?

I feel for you. What he is doing is not consistent with the spirt of art. The question I'm struggling with is what is the difference between painting a public scene or nature and a public "scene" of a newspaper?

Anonymous said...

Just think how made the guy or girl who designed the Campbell's soup can was at Andy Warhol.

slythfox said...

It looks like Jose Maria Cano is being attributed as the artist because he's responsible for transitioning the image from one format to another, larger format. Someone should tell him while he is an artist, he is not the original artist.

ASG said...

Hey, Im fairly certain that the same requirement apples for collage artists (very loosly stated in Jose's case) that applies for musicians. If the copied work hinders the sale of your item because people mistake the appropriation for the original then it is infringement. In your case I believe that it would be wise to start selling a blown up portrait of your own drawing (if this is allowed under WSJ contracts). That way you would be able to show the court the differences in his monetary gains and yours so the they can then appropriate his earnings to the rightful source (copyright holder or artist).

Russ said...

Did you purposefully give him a scowl for this picture to score cheap points for your corporatist newspaper and its owner?

Admin said...

I fully agree with Noli......

Allen said...

Those WSJ drawings are cool! I always thought it was just a computer program that made photos look like they were drawn.

Anonymous said...

If he wasn't open about the fact that they're from WSJ, I'd see where you're coming from.

On an unrelated note, how do you get such precise proportions? Is there tracing involved, or is it entirely by eye? In any case, your work is amazing.

Paul D. said...

"Do you own the rights to the image or does the Wall Street Journal?"

This is not a copyright issue. This is a plagiarism issue, and a pretty grave one.

Anonymous said...

Come on, his music is great, because it's really his brother's music (Nacho Cano, Mecano). But yes, as you show it, he is a crook.

Anonymous said...

Unless you've actually seen it hanging in the white house, it's more likely that the "painting" has gone to an archive somewhere. The US president receives a vast amount of gifts from foreign dignitaries, there is no conceivable way to display them all in the white house. Suggest you google "US presidential gifts", there's some pretty funny things in the archive from rulers in Arabia...

winampman said...

It appears that the original photograph came from a poster that was on sale at barackobama.com during the campaign.

Here is a picture of a Hebrew version of the poster: http://frgdr.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/obama_israel_visit_afp-82041820-2.jpg

Your art is a derivative of the original photograph: you turned it into a drawing. And Jose's art is a derivative of your drawing: he used paraffin wax.

The only difference between you and Jose are the legal issues - I assume the WSJ had permission to use the orginal image from the Obama poster, and your job was to turn it into a drawing. The only question is, did Jose legally have to get permission from the WSJ to use your derivative work? What about the original photographer?

Paul said...

'Appropriation' is fine as long as it's not your livelihood and your work being exploited and repackaged. Cano's failure to acknowledge Noli's work is a troubling lack of artistic courtesy, especially considering he is receiving such high profile publicity for his hot wax remixes. Regardless of who 'owns' the original work, proper credit should be given to the creators as is traditionally done with other media. It's called professionalism.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/arts/design/06prin.html?_r=1&ref=todayspap

I remember something like this with the marlboro man. I like your art I hope you receive some recognition.

Michael said...

Incredible. I'm not at all versed in the appropriation argument, but if his point is that his artistic eye is what identified the interesting juxtaposition of portrait and text, which he then elevated the focus upon, I'd say he's ripping off you AND the layout designer.

The crux is that a huge majority of his viewers must walk away believing it was he who did the stippling, our President among them.

Michael said...

... or maybe plagiarism itself IS his artform! Very avant-garde.

Steven said...

yeah that's kind of murky.

if he cited it as your/WSJ's work, would that still count as plagiarizing?

does it count as plagiarizing if he's significantly altered it? in a strict sense, certainly so. in a looser sense, i guess the question relates to how significantly he altered it.

if we equate his artistic abilities with those of a copy machine that can blow up images, then i think it would be fair to say that he plagiarized.

but considering that he must have put forth much more immediate effort than a copy machine would, such an analogy is not entirely applicable.

moreover, if someone blew up your picture using a copy machine and then attributed the work to the copy machine, would that count as plagiarism?

this is an interesting situation.

Hayden said...

Hi Noli, Would you say the same about the work of Barbara Kruger for example?

I think appropriation in art is a touchy subject at the best of times, but cano has two things going in his favour. 1) His work is about appropriation and mass media to some extent. 2) His technique is amazing .. (I wonder if you've actually seen one of the works in the flesh)

Ryan McGinnis said...

What did you base your original drawing on? Was it WSJ-owned photography or did you guys license to make a derivative?

Ryan Lackey said...

Separate from the whole issue of this guy (mis-)appropriating your work, hedcuts are really amazing. You or WSJ should sell some 8x10s :)

meisjeloos said...

Don't you think a lot of people enjoy your blown up version of the portrait? Wouldn't it have been sad if it was never made? What way would be the right way to go about this according to you, should he have given you royalties?

Max said...

Can't you get help from the paper?

tad said...

It's not plagiarism, at least according to any definition I've read. This may be considered a derivative work, but that is a gray area as well since he recreated the image, using non-mechanical processes, from a public source.

Anonymous said...

It looks like this "artist" always does the same, most of his "paintings" are upscaled versions of ilustrations from Wall Street Journal and he does not hide it:

http://artescontemporaneos.com/jose-maria-cano-pintor/

http://www.josemariacano.net/gallery/index.php?lang=spanish

Anonymous said...

I recommend you don't actually link to his website, but let people copy-paste the URL instead. Linking will just increase the visibility of his website.

Harshad Joshi said...

White House fail.

BRUTE! said...

You might want to check out with your editor on what policy the newspaper has with regards the selling off of commissioned originals.
I have worked for a couple of companies, bands and magazines who sell the work off a clip art etc. after a certain amount of time.

By the way, I love your work. You give your subjects added charisma.

xee-man said...

There's a fine line between plagiarism and appropriation. He's not attempting to pass the work off as though he had created the original. On the contrary, he includes some of the text to highlight the fact that this was clipped out of a newspaper. I figure the journal will probably end up with a case against him and, based on similar recent cases, will probably win. This doesn't fall under the "fair use" clause because it can't be said to be commenting on the paper's article. I have to admit that what he's doing is pretty brazen but you also have to admit that they are really nice paintings and even though you made the illustration, you would never have made those paintings. I'm not at all surprised by the attention he's receiving.

Ricky said...

Noli, I'm sure you used a photograph for reference to make your drawing. Does reinterpreting an image in another medium always equate to plagiarism?

BRUTE! said...

Do you think the original graphic artist behind the Campbell's soup label should get a kickback from Andy Warhol's estate?

I'm interested to know what you feel about iconography in art also,

BTW,Shepherd Fairey is another artist whose Obama campaign artwork has caused controversy in the art community.

philnthrope said...

Noli, didn't you make your drawing from a photograph? Have you some agreement with the photographer, which that spanish painter clearly doesn't have with you? Good work, I like the pointillism ;)

Anonymous said...

If only you knew a large new paper with real reporters...

Anonymous said...

Let's see.

Do have any contracts signed with WSJ regarding this?

If so, does it say anything about giving up your moral rights?

If it doesn't then, EVEN if your photo is appropriated (whatever that means in the context you wrote) nobody can ever take your moral rights away.

Moral Rights is a legal term which protects the authorship (vs ownership).

Even if you sign your moral rights away, I am not sure it can still stand in court. But anyway I know you do not want to fight this or anything, but be advised that you are (or should be) fully protected no matter what happens in the moral rights area.

Always send yourself a copy of any drawings that you give away by any means which can prove that you had possession of the drawing on a said date (postal service, and even an email probably might do). This would be your proof.

I am rather familiar with this stuff but am not a lawyer so assuming you are in the US:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights_(copyright_law)#Moral_rights_in_the_United_States

David Smith said...

Who took the picture that you used to do the stipple?

poorusher said...

WTF?

I hope you get some resolution from this Noli.

Anonymous said...

It's totally understandable to be pissed off at this and I apologise if my comment seems obtuse. but when you're doing work for the Wall St Journal you're working in the capacity of a commercial illustrator, your work should be protected by whatever contract you have with them.

I dont think you'd get that far with the case sadly other than getting publicity.

Like an earlier commenter said, this is appropriation, albeit on a grand scale and the artist (as douchey as he sounds) isnt hiding the fact that theyre sampling a newspaper. However if you wish to not allow your work to be appropriated or for your employer to be compensated for any money he's making, you need to see what precedents have been set before.

good luck I hope you dont experience too much grief over it.

Josh said...

Regardless if the image becomes part of public domain or who owns the rights, from an ethical standpoint it's clearly not acceptable. If I took a photograph of the Mona Lisa, printed it and hung it on the wall, it wouldn't be considered viable. Jose Cano should be ashamed for blatantly ripping off someone more talented.

Raúl said...

Hi Noli

I'm from Spain, and I've just read this story on the news. I don't really like JM Cano but, like Ashton, I don't see anything wrong in this work.

I mean, we see this everyday. I believe that Andy Warhol didn't design the Campbell's Soup Cans...

Anyway, congratulations for your work.

Anonymous said...

Did you base your piece off a photo? http://imgur.com/CbpbF If you did, it's the same thing, in my opinion.

He used wax, so it's not off a printing press and he added text. The over-all piece is different, very similar to how yours differs from the shopped photo.

JohnH said...

If you're not worried about the money, then surely it's terrible for him too, knowing he's an artist who doesn't do any of his own work.

root said...

Why cant you just do the same thing he's doing to your art. Make a new portrait of The president, or the first lady and use the exact technique he uses. If you do it on your own theres no way he can say anything, plus it may be profitable for you! It's going to be hard for him to argue it's his work when he cant produce the newspaper clipping.

Ben said...

Did you take the photograph that you used as a reference for the drawing? If not, then you are just as guilty of appropriating imagery as this artist. The only way that you could totally take credit for an artwork is to create it 100% from your own efforts. You work for the wall street journal, which is known for it's iconic drawn portraits. You are creating a part of popular culture. You shouldn't be surprised that your work is influencing other artists. Though he takes credit for the large scale appropriated images, the original source (WSJ + you) is overtly implied to everyone.

Lucy The Sky Bobbin said...

I think you're right to expose this Printing Press master as fraudulent, basically all he is doing is enlargening clippings from the WSJ. Especially if this guy didn't paint the portraits himself (with paint and a brush) he's totally screwed.

Anonymous said...

I might consider this Fair Use if he had altered the image in some way to make it his own, but as it is he has done nothing but make it bigger.

Anonymous said...

You and you fellow staff artists should fly to London and superglue small versions with the appropriate credits over the eyes of his pieces and call it 'performance art'.

DrDaddy said...

Noli-

Sounds like this Cano fellow is a self-promoting scammer who should be financially punished and socially exposed as a fraud. Will the WSJ enforce its rights to exclusivity? That is the key question legally.

From and IP perspective, his stuff is plainly a "derivative work", from your copyrighted (excellent) drawings. Unless it is represented as a parody -- which it plainly isn't -- (protected under the First Amendment, and the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended), it is a naked violation of copyright held by the Dow Jones Company and its assigns. Or did NewsCorp buy that too?

Whose work it is (yours vs WSJ), depends on if the creator or the owner of the creation can call it "mine". Depends, doesn't it?

As a writer and editor, my books and multimedia products are "mine" although by law, the Works belong contractually to my publisher, as are your creations, done as "work for hire."

Anonymous said...

He's copying anything he sees from long time ago, and nobody seems to do anything about it! He's selling "Tintin and the Otokar's scepter" images by Hergé, signed by himself, and nobody seems to do anything! Being inspired by is not the same that copying everything! It's time to stop this Spanish so-called-artist.

Anonymous said...

Does this incident with Havel gall you as a person of Czeck (possibly Slovak) heritage?

Anonymous said...

A propos of nothing, you're a bit of a babe.

unmoderated said...

i wouldn't really call this a re-imagining. this is basically your art with someone else's name.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming you've contacted the art gallery..?

info@riflemaker.org

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, how do you make your stipple portraits? They have a distinct photographic quality.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope you get credit in the end, he should not get any credit for stealing other people's hard work!

Ruby said...

if you change something by... i think... 60%? the work becomes your own in the eyes of the law. The act of making it that large, changing the medium, repainting it (this is actually an appropriation of the *print* in the paper, not of the original ink drawing itself [which is made very clear through the inclusion of text from The Times]) and changing the context I would imagine puts him squarely in the clear.
If you're calling thing sort of thing into question then what of works by Lichtenstein or Warhol? In a contemporary setting, Tomas Ruff? (not meaning to attack, I just find reproduction and art a very interesting topic)
Don't get me wrong, I can see why you would be pretty pissed, just trying to play devils advocate.

Aussie Dan said...

The most important question here is this - are you single? You look absolutely stunning!

Rich said...

Ashton, it is appropriation. That's the point, although whether you see anything wrong with it is not the point. Just because an image is available for taking doesn't mean it is ethical or legal to take it.

Anonymous said...

I guess the artist is really just in a grey area legally, but for me it's not that interesting if it's legal or not. Art should be creative, and copy & paste isn't in my opinion. Btw, I think those portraits of yours are amazing, and I would love to learn a bit more about the techniques behind it (I'll try to research it myself ;).

Ryan said...

Noli, I have always loved the stipple art style. Can I commission you to do one of me, or can you recommend someone who would be willing? :)

What would your fee be, approximately?

Feel free to email me at bokonon815@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to give my support, seeing as so many contemptuous assholes want to imply this is acceptable.

The Fine Art world has major issues, and the sooner art schools force people to learn how to credit sources and notate processes the better.

Illustrators are generally more skilled and generally have more academic training, and the public generally have an easier affinity with illustrations as opposed to modern art, yet when issues such as this come up people defend the Fine Artists??

Sometimes I cynically wonder whether galleries and collectors hire fake grass roots marketers and commenters to protect their assets. I hear so many random people in art establishments praising random work, or defending it, but if I go to a public gallery I hear a healthy cynical and critical attitude.

- A former Fine Artist

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to give my support, seeing as so many contemptuous assholes want to imply this is acceptable.

The Fine Art world has major issues, and the sooner art schools force people to learn how to credit sources and notate processes the better.

Illustrators are generally more skilled and generally have more academic training, and the public generally have an easier affinity with illustrations as opposed to modern art, yet when issues such as this come up people defend the Fine Artists??

Sometimes I cynically wonder whether galleries and collectors hire fake grass roots marketers and commenters to protect their assets. I hear so many random people in art establishments praising random work, or defending it, but if I go to a public gallery I hear a healthy cynical and critical attitude.

- A former Fine Artist

Robert said...

I understand what a "newspaper clipping" is and an appropriation of such

Yeah, it's like sampling in music. I would agree that a line has been crossed, but I can see how this may have happened. If the WSJ didn't clearly give written credit to you for your stipple portrait(s), then Jose may not have known who exactly to credit. That said, I think he should have thought to research to find out who created the original piece he was using.

It is pretty sad that someone who calls themself an artist lacks at least the integrity, not to mention the regard for a fellow artist, to give credit where it is due.

Proud Parents said...

I can understand your frustration with this. As far as rights to the image there might be a case for the journal but honestly it would probably take a great deal of time and effort and not result in much.

To the fact that this is obviously a huge scam, you are 100% right. This "artist" is passing off the hard work that you and your coworkers have done as his own. It is time for the world to wake up to the fact that there are real artist that are due the credit that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

I think he needs to change the way he sites his work. It currently looks like he is taking credit for the conception and content of these works. Cano in these instances is reproducing work that is not his. Nothing wrong with reproductions but he needs to correctly cite his source material. Image by Journal reproduced and enlarged or arranged if you will by Cano.

I went to art school at SCAD (Go Bee's) and although I don't produce art now we were all taught that using others work was a grievous offense without complete and proper citation.

Jeff said...

If imitation is flattery, congratulations. It shows how talent (yours) and recognition (his) do not necessarily equate.

Anonymous said...

Hi Noli, i have a couple of facts that maybe you don´t know:

Jose María Cano is not know about his "portraits" or "pictures", but he is well know in Spain and half latin world as music composer with his brother in the 80´s HUGE (very huge) pop band Mecano (the first spanish band wich will have it´s own Rock Band this november).

He is also author of some of the biggest hits of the band, and those songs look "inspired" a lot by many others:

- Original 70´s song by Mocedades; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtIYYv_X9NM (skip the intro, go to 00:27)

- Mecano HUGE hit in late 80s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWnFwZeM6Sw (skip the intro, go to 00:41)

By the way, this guy has mountains of money.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

I see no words or thoughts that are similar between the illustration you did and the large painting on the wall. This is not plagiarism. I think intention is important. I've met a lot of other bitter illustrators. it doesn't help to compare, illustration is a great job and important, just like FINE ART.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

Human creativity has always commented, appropriated and responded.

Artists use images from photos in magazines and print media all the time in their work, so although I understand your frustration (and it sucks you didn't get proper credit here) it still seems like a pretty normal situation...

Warren said...

I can see that you do fine work and for you & the WSJ to be ripped off like this without any attribution needs to be stopped. Where are the legal beagles when you need them.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

P.S.: hurm... yea... can't help but keep thinking about this. I would feel burned myself, actually.

Really like your work, by the way.

Ross said...

Ah so you're the artist of those drawings! Always loved them when reading the WSJ :)

Anonymous said...

If you try and put it into a historical perspective:

If you were the graphic designer who created the Campbell's soup can design would you try to expose Andy Warhol as a plagiarist? Really what the artist here is doing is his own version of your illustration.

It's hard to tell from the included text but it seems like he re-created your artwork with some kind of wax technique—and he didn't just blow up/photocopy the picture and claim he created it. There is quite a long history of similar occurrences in the art world, so I don't think your going to get very far with this. Great illustrations though.

Anonymous said...

I think he does pretty good work.. The pics you do are to small.. I like how he blows them up and makes them easier to see.

Anonymous said...

You are NYC, right? Go to the MoMA and check out this guy "Andy Warhol".

Anonymous said...

You are correct that this may be your original work, but Mr. Cano's work is a painting, and is not a mechanical reproduction, so it is not plagiarism.

If it were, then many of Andy Warhol's works would palgiarism as well, as well as many of the artists in the Realism or Photorealism movement.

You should be honored that Mr Cano was so inspired to make paintings of the works that you and the Wall St. Journal produce.

hmmm said...

Hi !
I'm from Spain !
(sorry for my poor english!)

Jose Maria Cano is a famous person in Spain. Not because of their paintings. He was in the 80s and 90s a VERY famous music composer (in a pop band called MECANO).

So... I see here 2 weird things:

1) If a Cano's painting is in the White House... I bet that it would be a great event here in spanish TV and newspapers.
And this is the first time that I had read about this.

2) I can't believe that he is so stupid to put all your paintings in his website:
http://www.josemariacano.net/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=9
why to put ONLINE all their plagiarism??

If you want (and you can demostrate that is your art) I can tell you story to journalists here in Spain. It would be a great scandal.

See you

Chris Foster said...

The same basic argument you make here could be made to claim that you've "plagiarized" the photograph upon which this image is based (and "plagiarized" Kevin Sprouls's illustration technique to boot). It could similarly be claimed that the photographer "plagiarized" Obama's image (after all, he/she didn't create anything new, but simply mechanically reproduced a pre-existing object.) Nothing in this chain of appropriation, from the photograph to Cano's artwork is wholly original and there's no reason any particular part of this chain, your part included, should be given some favored protected status.

Russell said...

I'm sure it's frustrating, but this isn't exactly your issue because you don't have any rights to this image whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

You have some serious wankers commenting here. The drawings are yours. Only an idiot trying to seem clever with his legal trickery would say they weren't "yours" and put quotes or italics on the word.

The fact that you may not have legal ownership of the images is irrelevant. Don't mind the haters. Stand up against your work being stolen.

focusissues said...

Simply changing the medium does not an original art work make.

Clearly plagiarism.

Does WSJ plan to pursue?

vanjos72 said...

I feel that it is dishonest, lazy and not displaying sufficient skill by the artist for me to appreciate it as an original work of art. I would be equally appalled if I was in your shoes. It seems though that whilst the underlying content of the piece is not the artist’s own work, the idea of enlarging it and framing it is a sufficiently original idea to be considered art in its own right and be lauded. This is a sad state of affairs. Unlike in literature for example where the wholesale theft of another writer’s prose would elicit cries of thief and plagiarist it seems anything goes when it comes to art.

What can legitimately be labelled an original piece of art? You could argue that given the fact all this artist is doing is re-photographing your work, enlarging it and then displaying it that this is not an original piece of art. It is not without precedence however as the artist Richard Prince re-photographed Marlboro cigarette advertisements and went a step further than Cano by eliminating all the original context i.e. the branding on the cigarette packet. His work is very highly regarded and lauded the world over and one of the ‘Marlboro works’ he created went on to sell for $3.4 million at auction!! Prince of course was himself just expanding upon ideas initially introduced by Andy Warhol.

Anonymous said...

You Just Got Warhol'd

akash hans said...

Even if it is "Appropriation" or whatever he might want to call it, the fact remains that he picked it up.

1. He uses it to make a statement.COOL!
2. He uses it to show people that he can do more than sing.FINE!
3. He uses it to impress that hot pseudo arty chick.BEST OF LUCK!
4. He uses it, exhibits it, gets acclaim from more people than on his speed dial AND it gets hung on the White House. NOT COOL!!!

Not so complicated is it?

johnhutch said...

Like sampling in hip hop or the use of other objects in the Dada movement, this is just another form of expression. If he were to have taken an interesting photograph of the clipping, would that have raised your ire? What if he used it in a collage? Where is the line between appropriate and plagiarism?

And who took the photo your drawing is based on? Do they deserve any credit for their work? Should their name be printed under your drawing when it appears in the WSJ?

This is the modern art world. You need to change your ideas about ownership and get with the times.

Anonymous said...

So you drew a picture based on a photograph of our Glorious Leader, and someone else added words to the picture that you drew, which you don't own the rights to and you're getting all butthurt about it? Is that about right?

J. R. said...

It's a rip off, plain and simple...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I like his piece of artwork with the framing of text taken out of the newspaper much better; the plain Jane drawing is rather uninteresting.

Anonymous said...

Chances are your WSJ agreement entitles you to be credited as the artist. The WSJ should insist that proper credit be given to the artist and the source.

Anonymous said...

You should steal his children, rape his livestock, and burn his women!

Ernesto said...

Are you given credit by the WST whenever your drawings appear there?

I agree that acknowledgment of what the image is based upon should have given.

In the case of public figures the thing is complicated, though: did you make your drawing from mere memory, or did you use someone else's photograph or still image to make your own drawing?

Pastabagel said...

Noli,

First, let me say how much I love your portraits in the journal! Such a distinctive style!

I don't think people appreciate how outrageous this is. All Cano did was blow up your artwork. But the creativity is all yours - deciding how to draw the subject, their pose, the angle, their expression, etc.. And all that is before the painstaking execution of the pen and ink drawing to give the portrait depth and a classic, timeless look.

Look at her original, people. It's a drawing, not a photoshop of a photo.

It doesn't matter who owns the art. The work is 'by' whoever created it, not who owns it. Cano's work is clearly an unoriginal derivative of Noli's work as printed in the Journal.

Noli, I hope your story find's its way to the President's attention, and I hope he does the right thing.

Locke40 said...

How did you make these portraits? Did you freehand draw them, or were they drawn in a computer?

Rich said...

Ashton, it is appropriation. That's the point, although whether you see anything wrong with it is not the point. Just because an image is available for taking doesn't mean it is ethical or legal to take it.

Clawvise said...

Way to go, Jose! He took a piece of throw-away art that would be seen for one day and then "archived" into obscurity and created something grand with wax. It is clearly "found art:" found on a piece of trash that would be thrown away after a cursory glance, and transformed into something wonderful and larger than life.

Rich said...

Ashton, it is appropriation. That's the point, although whether you see anything wrong with it is not the point. Just because an image is available for taking doesn't mean it is ethical or legal to take it.

Log said...

I don't see in any way that Jose is claiming that the portrait itself is his original art. *That* would constitute plagiarism.

Anonymous said...

Look at Andy Warhol, this is nothing new. We dwell in postmodernity, there is no authorship.

Anonymous said...

Yo Noli! I'm really happy for you, and I'ma let you finish, but Shakespeare was the most plagiarized of of all time! OF ALL TIME!

Anonymous said...

Ooh,thats gotta hurt!But I like the irony:A "Spaniard" (or is that "Illegal Alien?) steals art work of a president who's also a thief!HarHarHar...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately he may be well within his rights to do this. First off, his usage is directly in line with the art form known as "Pop Art". Secondly, the fact that some news print has been allowed to become part of the artwork means that it is now a derivative work. And thirdly, in this particular case it looks like he took a thumbnail sized image and blew it up which is LEGAL in the US (I forget which court case ruling this was for, I've misplaced the link).

Marcus C said...

"Bad artists copy. Great artists steal."
- Pablo Picasso

I think you should be flattered. In face, don't be mad or angry at all. You should celebrate your success and publish the repurposing of your art as much as possible in a positive light.

Nothing is stopping you from taking credit for that image other than yourself.

You just hit the big time. Congratulations.

index.php said...

I hope you're getting some support from the WSJ legal dept.?

Anonymous said...

That is pretty heinous in my opinion. Newspaper appropriation as a defense in this situation is very insincere and disingenuous. I hope you and the Wall Street Journal get rightful legal recourse in this matter.

Andrés Monroy-Hernández said...

I'm fascinated by the concept of remixing. I wonder, if he was giving you credit, would you feel the same way? What would be the most appropriate way of doing so? What if he was sharing the earnings?

It reminds me of this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/arts/design/06prin.html?_r=1

mathew said...

A witty response would be to take photographs of his paintings and sell the prints.

Travis said...

When I started reading this story I was outraged that this artist is getting credit. Then I read more and followed some of your links and am now on the fence about it.

This artist seems to be basically tracing your work using some technique of painting with wax. It sounds like it is a manual process that he is doing from hand.

Isn't this similar to what you're doing? You didn't take the photo of Obama did you? You're essentially tracing a photograph but doing it in your medium.

You could get into who's medium is more difficult, but I'm not sure difficulty is in making something is what separates plagiarism from unique works -- if it was Andy Rooney would have been taken off the air for plagiarism long ago.

Anonymous said...

It's a copyright violation plain and simple. I have no doubt in my mind. It is not fair use and appropriation is not a defense, nor is attribution. Appropriation is tantamount to duplication which is under the control of the right's owner --no one else.

The point of the work was to be an illustration, the copied work was also to be an illustration FOR COMMERCIAL purposes. The largest deciding factor in Fair Use cases and this clearly doesn't cut the stink test.

That said, the copyright belongs to the Journal since you're a staff attorney and as an employee it is a work for hire. If you were a consultant or contractor without a proper assignment the copyright would belong to you.

As a fellow artist, let me say good luck on the law suit.

Donco & Sons said...

It doesnt appear that Cano has signed the larger version of the portrait. If he is not claiming he made the portrait and is only enlarging it and applying it to a different medium, then I dont know if this is illegal.

Are pictures of the President public domain?

Anonymous said...

When the WSJ published it did it have your initials or name anywhere? Did you hide them in the artwork? I'm not asking because I think it matters, I'm just wondering if the sleezebag reproduced those, too, or if removing the attribution was his only "artistic" contribution?

Timlee FU Franz FU Ashton FU said...

Your work is fantastic. And you look nice. :)

The first few posters on this comment page are clearly trying to "own the story." They are trolls who are either indoctrinated into postmodernist/marxist dogma or are somehow connected with the "artist" who ripped you off or his legal team.

It never fails that it is the people who produce nothing of value, who rationalize the theft of other people's property.

How's this, kids: Why not get a job, so you understand what it means to earn something. Or don't you have time in between all your meta-referential pan-literal acritical intertextual engagements with onan.

Anonymous said...

What Would Todd Goldman Do? (WWTGD?)

He'd steal your work too. Goldman, Cano, Lichtenstein, all hacks. I hope you win this fight!

Rich said...

This discussion reminds me of an article posted on the Guardian UK's blog recently. The writer was advocating a reduction in the length of copyrights in order to increase creativity. He never explained how that would happen. He didn't support the concept in any way, but there were plenty of comments from people who thought that limiting copyright to several years was very cool, and one butthead that blamed the whole debate on the "greed of artists." Again, no evidence that artists are greedy, or that greed has anything to do with the current orphan works debate.

What was interesting in that thread, and this one, is there is a clear dividing line between those who do not create anything themselves but do enjoy being able to freely appropriate the creations of others. Some sort of belief that all art should belong to the people? That artists deserve to starve for their art, and don't deserve to receive value for value given?

I don't understand this at all, and doubt that any of the people who defend appropriation would be at all happy if someone began appropriating whatever it is they produce or own. It doesn't take a lot of deep thought to understand what's going on here, and what is wrong about it.

Appropriating art is not the same as appropriating advertising.

John Currah said...

The mis-appropriation is ridiculous. Keep on fighting the good fight!

Anonymous said...

Look Andy Warhol, don't be too proud of yourself. That would be your name up there if you had donated it first.

This really isn't much more than clip art or stock photo work. Clearly no effort was made to represent the image in any other way. In fact, it makes a compliment to the newspaper for using your work. You should be proud. Unless, of course, you just don't like the guy (president).

Seeing as to how software creates images just exactly like this, I'd probably not be too concerned about credits.

Andrew Kinnear said...

Noli,
I love the picture you stippled. I managed to get Randy Glass to do one for my wife's birthday. Though it's not in the WSJ, if someone were to blow it up and call it their own, I would be pissed too.

I think exposure is all it needs. The fact that people are divided on the issue is proof enough that there was wrong-doing.

gregp said...

Sorry; this kind of work has a long history of success in the fine art world. It's a bit odd that he didn't credit you, but it's clearly original work as much as your own is. If you wanted to be represented in galleries etc with this kind of thing, perhaps you could learn from the context he presented the works in.

(Perhaps, also, your name was far from the illustration? Something to take up with the WSJ for sure...)

Wallace said...

Will the Journal allow you to add your signature to your art (specifically in a spot that most likely wouldn't be cropped)? At least if it is appropriated...your signature will be a beacon to the true artist.

Ryan McGinnis said...

Hey, has anyone here mentioned Andy Warhol yet? Because I'm sure if someone mentioned Andy Warhol the author of this blog post would come right around and suddenly realize how silly she was to be offended that another artist is blatantly ripping her stuff off and building his entire career on her hard work. Andy Warhol Andy Warhol.

Anonymous said...

legal matters aside, the least this guy could do is to give some credit to the author of the original illustration. I hope the WSJ rips him a new one.

Omar said...

girl .. you are a phenomenal illustrator and also you are hot ..

You will get credit for your work sooner or later..

Anonymous said...

"This particular drawing is mine any way you put it, reproduce it or appropriate it!"

I can't believe the # of commenters who don't seem to understand this. I'm an artist but I hope I would be outraged even if I wasn't. I don't at ALL understand how anyone here can tell you you shouldn't be angry about this. Pure thievery and I really hope your paper's legal dept. puts a dent in this guy's profits from your work.

Anonymous said...

Why are you giving him free advertising?

Marcelo said...

Whether or not it's legally ok to do it is one thing but there is an creative integrity that comes with being an artist. Doing what he is doing is nothing more than being a copy machine. I feel the same about Warhol regardless of how much of a "genius" he was considered, I felt he was a hack. But with the art world being so ambiguous with it's definition of what "Art" is, well, it lends itself to this type of chicanery.

Now I have seen comparisons with hip hop as well which is somewhat true with certain artists, samples haven't been really used by anyone respectable in the industry for decades, and bands like The Roots show this. But taking a sample, which is essentially a sound and making it into something else with is completely cool. Kinda like you take Bread and make a sandwich, doesn't mean you have to make the bread yourself and all the other things that go into that sandwich every single time. But when you take something ala Diddy, and put no thought into it and slightly changing the tempo, then you are not hip hop but a hack.

Church said...

Who is the original photographer? Why did you not think to mention them? Hmm?

Anonymous said...

Thank you all, for participating in a an art project by Jose-Maria Cano. It's not over yet, folks.

MC Casal said...

IT'S A SHAME!

Anonymous said...

Even if it's legal, I think anyone would agree that this "artist" is a douche.

Scooter said...

Is that a Jim Woodring shirt you're wearing? boo yeah!

Harimwakairi said...

If you're not going to allow this particular painting as legitimate art, you're condemning a large number of artists at the same time. Duchamp's readymades, Kenny Goldsmith's "uncreative writing" (see his book Day), most early hip-hop, and many other works of art have been created by reworking and recontextualizing existing material.

I would imagine, Noli, you have no problem with the above artists, but take exception to this painter because he chose your source material. You can't just attack the one guy, though. If you feel this is really wrong, you're going to have to take on everybody.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how many people don't realize that what makes his art interesting is YOUR hard work and your employers reputation. So much crappy fine art is hidden behind a long winded and bullshit explanations of the "process of creating" and the "artistic journey". This guy should learn to draw if he wants quality Illustrations in his art.

Picket his opening!

Jim said...

You are a great portrait artist. And you deserve to be recognized, at the very least, by this other artist, whose work would be essentially a blank canvas if not for your drawing.

Legally, it sounds like this one is all up to the WSJ.

I don't think Warhol's brillo boxes are a good comparison, since nobody believed that those were his original designs.

Anonymous said...

under appropriation laws the artist has every right to take your work and reinterpret it as his own. By incorporating the newspaper text into his painting the artist is reflecting on the image of obama in contemporary media. Your work is simply an illustration of a photograph. technically competent but saying nothing. The realm of fine art is one of the few bastions of freedom left today and restrictions shouldn't be placed upon it. I know a lot of great painters who started out as illustrators like yourself. Concentrate on your work beyond the commercial world and you'll get recognition for what you do, if your any good.

Anonymous said...

I think you've got a case. If someone writes a song that is 99% identical to an existing song, but claim that they wrote it again and merely based the work on yours, it would still be theft.

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