~SHEPARD FAIRY, OBAMA POSTER BOY also hits the wall !!

Shepard Fairey O poster

OBAMA POSTER BOY – SHEPARD FAIREY, laughing all the way to the bank – has just had a legal marble thrown his way – and hopefully, as a this writer is a photographer !! – he WILL trip !!

according to today’s NEW YORK POST, (ART only makes the NYC tabloids when there is a legal or criminal controversy in play) – FAIREY’S iconic and ubiquitous OBAMA ‘HOPE’ poster – has hit the ‘legal’ wall.
According to the AP sourced article – image above – on Page 7 – NEW YORK POST FEB 5, 2009:

“The image, FAIREY has acknowledged is based on an Associated Press (AP) photograph, taken in April 2006 by MANNY GARCIA. The AP says it owns the copyright and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
‘The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission,’ said Paul Colford, AP director of media relations.
But Fairey’s attorney, Anthony Falzone, said, ‘We believe fair use protects Shepard’s right to do what he did here.’”

YO !! of course he says that – but, NO WAY !! one: the photo has not been altered, only colored. and, in truth – the photo makes the poster, not vice versa – otherwise Fairey wouldn’t have usurped a copyrighted image. he would have used a photo with a cleaner source – like his own, except he doesn’t have any, cause he doesn’t take photos. He only embellished the power of this specific photograph, which uniquely captured a dynamic visual stance, and one-moment-in-time expression of the President-to-be. You could call it a collaboration – but that implies collaboration – a pre-arrangement between the 2 parties. The photograph’s copyright needs to be respected & compensated for. Permission should have been sought from the get-go. It probably could have been gotten, back then for relatively, very little. It is appropriation and …. bottomline – theft.
the official AMERICAN HERITAGE dictionary definition of appropriation is:
“to take possession of, often without permission.”

This reminds us of the JIM KRANZ/MARLBORO PHOTOS vs. RICHARD PRINCE controversy – and, we went on record for calling JIM KRANTZ a (last generational) idiot, okay, maybe he’s just lazy and mostly pragmatic – for not taking a more militant stance.
RANDY KENNEDY – write us a follow-up !!
see: NEW YORK TIMES/RANDY KENNEDY/JIM KRANZ vs. RICHARD PRINCE
see: text/NYT/RANDY KENNEDY/JIM KRANZ vs. RICHARD PRINCE

Although FAIREY has a indisputable talent for hitting a populist nerve – many of his images are severely compromised – not as Warholesque, as the Post states in this article – but they actually heavily derived from Communist era propaganda art. that is, ironically – that hugely successful – HOPE OBAMA poster – rides the design coattails – of Communist era art.
. . . and a stolen photograph !! Put your mind around that – for a moment !!

and, p.s. if you think Fairey has just been d-o-n-a-t-i-n-g his image to the OBAMA campaign sans fee – think again. (and, what about that TIME cover – they must have used a different photo, I bet.)
. . . a couple of pages further into the very same NEW YORK POST – is a pretty enlightening, (indirectly) fact of the $$ MARKET – ON THAT !!

Russell SIMMONS Fairey poster
from: NEW YORK POST/THURSDAY FEB 5, 2009 – HOME SECTION FEATURE ON: RUSSELL SIMMONS NEWLY RENOVATED DOWNTOWN LOFT !!

yo, the caption reads: ‘SIMMON’S art includes a Basquiat/Warhol collaboration and a commissioned Shepard Fairey ‘OBAMA HOPE’ piece.’
that is: C-O-M-M-I-S-S-I-O-N-E-D, as in b-o-u-g-h-t, as in: $$$ !!

here’s the more interesting picture they also published, of the WARHOL/BASQUIAT, which actually is the correct title order. (a sign of the times ? BASQUIAT gets first pecking title order over Warhol, funny !!)

simmons w b

our resident blue chip expert, SIMON CERIGO values that Warhol Basquiat at somewhere between 5-10 million bucks, bye the way.

Chelsea blue-chip gallery, VAN DE WEGHE, on 23rd St. had an interesting show of some these large collaborations recently, May 8-June 8, 2008. Here’s one of the pieces offered. a beautiful piece. these Warhol/Basquiat collaborations took place 1984-85.
see: VAN DE WEGHE/WARHOL & BASQUIAT

W B  # 1

W B # 3

W B # 2

WARHOL & BASQUIAT, ‘AMOCO’, 1984.
acrylic, oil stick & silkscreen on canvas. 116 x 243 in.

note: the COPYRIGHT reference – JEAN-MICHEL was right on !!!

INSTALLATION PHOTOS with DETAILS: NANCY SMITH