Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is the CAC on the wrong side of art?

When I heard the rumor last week that Shepard Fairey’s Supply and Demand will be in Cincinnati next year, I contacted the CAC with my concerns regarding Fairey’s practice “appropriating” works by artists who he simply neglects to attribute. To date, the CAC has not responded to my inquiry.

I hope the CAC intends to address these issues. That Supply and Demand is scheduled to travel to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh before arriving in Cincinnati will not wipe clean the problems Fairey brings. Warhol celebrated the copy. Fairey is no Warhol In fact, up to this point Fairey has cloaked himself in a willingness by the public be ignorant of his “lifting” of art. Is Raphaela Platow, Director of the CAC counting on the same kind of protection? Also, if the CAC plans to present him as a “street artists,” they should know there are a number of street artists who have issued challenges to Fairey and his work….challenges he has up to this point ignored. I presented this discussion in an earlier post.

Despite the loud cries of disdain for Fairey from much of the art world, Ms. Platow insists, “He has made a successful move into museums.” Successful? Really? As the Director of the CAC, Raphaela Platow should be the city’s leading advocate for contemporary art and artists. A blind eye to Fairey’s "lifting" of art and a deaf ear to the protest by artists puts her advocacy into question.


Anonymous said...

Am I wrong, but I thought that most street artists criticisms of Fairey were that he has "sold out." Not a fair criticism in my opinion.

Me said...

Yes...I think you are right. This is certainly a large part of their criticism.

I'm not sure what you mean though. What criticism is unfair?

Anonymous said...

I think it's not completely fair criticism to accuse someone of "selling out" because their work has been accepted by the mainstream art world, and because they are making money from their work. First of all, an artist does not have total control over the reception of their work--if it becomes popular, it's probably because it strikes a chord with the public. If I were an artist, and felt my ideas were important, I'd want to communicate them with as many people as were willing and open enough to look/listen. And, making money from art is only a natural progression to becoming popular. People want to buy your work if they find it interesting. Why is payment for making work somehow perceived differently in the visual arts than in the performing arts? It's very complicated, I guess. But a dancer, let's say, who comes up with some very unusual choreography, but to whom audiences respond, will naturally begin to be paid more for their performances as they progress in their career. And is that selling out?

Anonymous said...

Get with it Kathy. You heard "a rumor"? The CAC announced its entire 2009-10 season BEFORE you even posted this.

On another point, are there really any new ideas? I'd love to see you name some contemporary artists whose work you think is wholly original and who would be more worthy of a CAC exhibit.

Artists have been appropriating, mimicking, imitating and outright stealing from one another for thousands of years. I'd love to know about those breaking new ground.

Me said...

I think I mentioned hearing the rumor prior to my post. I didn't follow up until I found out for sure.

Anyway, there are a number of artists doing new things. In fact The New Museum in NYC has a show right now that includes many of them.

One of my favorite artists...not so new, but I enjoy is bead artist, Liza Lou.

I plan to attend the Younger Than Jesus show later in the month while in nyc. I hope to post about it here when I return.

Anonymous said...

I would like to address the previous threaded discussion which assumes many Street Artist believes Shepard Fairey is a SELL OUT. In clarity this is a complete fallacy and far removed from the essential truth of our criticism.

Our critique of his work addresses not his financial success of SELLING OUT but his successful robbing of important historical movements and cultures. Our collective movement of activist who employ fair criticism questions Shepard Fairy’s actions and copyright violations in question. This is an important social critique of Sheppard Fairy as he symbolically represents the new breed of corporate pilferers in the World today who are exploitative of workers,culture, commerce and it’s by products.

I would like to initiate our discussion by calling into question Shepard Fairey’s and his machine thourgh its unethical cultural practices of producing art which is lifted from historical schools and its authored sources. Shepard Fairey has stated that he has lifted the branded poster from an AP photographer for the OBAMA campaign. Fairey has years of violations in manufacturing radical chic as mercantile. Shepard Fairey has exploited many historical movement worlds wide in generating millions of dollars in profits selfishly for himself and his corporate company. We have nothing against his commercial success only against his unethical practices. For over a decade Shepard Fairey has continued with a patterned of infringed abuse. Fairey had every opportunity to settle with the AP and request clearance for his corporate company and its entities.

Instead he spends more time sending cease and desists letters to individuals that he feels his company is threatened by.

There are many others important critics, writers and artists who have identified and shared the same critique, This is an important issue to address as Fairey is operating as a wolf in sheep’s clothing presenting himself as a Street Artist who is citing creative commons when in fact he is hiding under the umbrella of Fair Use. The artist says he is defending artist everywhere when he is only protecting his assets and other future potential lawsuits.

The so called rip-off Artist Shepard Fairey is facing serious allegations of Copyright Infringement from the AP.
Shepard new public release say he stands for Artist everywhere? My question is name the Artist that Shepard Fairey is defending?
In addressing the Korporate War on Greed it is important to identify the different types of exploitations which are in existence in our day and age which have recently come to light. There is a strong organic movement which is being directed towards unveiling individuals like Shepard Fairey who are now known as exploitative in their fundamental practice as the merchant who has violated a decade of copyright laws as well as misrepresenting the media in the marketplace.
The opponents to Shepard Fairey are not one singular individual but a collective of many who have taken a respectable stand against him and his Companies, Greed and Exploitative Acts.

Come join us in truly questioning our culture in question...