Monday, April 19, 2010

Referencing without Referencing (aka stealing)



Above we have the amazing work of Jim Phillips, an icon of skateboard art and a truly talented man. Below that, we have a graphic that is becoming increasingly visible around Atlanta. Is it just me, or is there a strong resemblance between the two? In the art world referencing and appropriation are welcomed. Picasso himself said "good artists borrow, great artists steal." Hell, Richard Prince made a whole career out of doing a little cropping of Marlboro ads. Sherrie Levine directly copied Walker Evans photography, Duchamps urinals...I could go on. Both Prince and Levine site the original material. In fact, it is this original material that makes this work important.


Walker Evans' photo next to Sherrie Levine's After Walker Evans

From what I can tell, there is no reference or mention of Mr. Phillips work in this instance, and this is a problem. We all have our idols and people that we look up to. Usually those people manifest themselves in some way in our own personalities, whether it is one's art or simply a way of thinking. Borrowing someone elses' idea to further your own is great, but plagiarism is completely unacceptable.

5 comments:

the xarlacc said...

true, i agree with most of that. but isn't thinking about/spotting Phillips' screaming hand, immediately after seeing this sticker that bites it, exactly the type of homage to Phillips that should be? many people and see it and think that its a weird sticker, but many other people see it and think, 'hey thats a blatant Jim Phillips bite, and i'd rather see his rad shit than this dumb ass shit.' 'the cool dudes' are always doing this type of shit, it is hollow and transparent and will always exist. the real heads always recognize the real heads.

kegbenk said...

"to be the man, you've got to beat the man" -ric flair

jdisco said...

I think the other problem I have is that it doesn't further or change the idea. I have no problem with biting, but when Blind was ripping Powell back in the day, it was changing the idea, not just using the good parts. I see where yer at though.

I'd be a fool to argue with Rick Flair.

sixtythreebears said...

http://www.crailtap.com/c3/sanger_10/screaming-satan_hands.jpg

jdisco said...

I think this is an example of source material, the satanic hand being the impetus for the drawing...really interesting.