Monday, February 16, 2009

Schjeldahl on Fairey

Peter Schjeldahl's review of the Shepard Fairey retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston includes the following on his legal battle with the AP:

"Fairey has run into a ... predictable legal snarl with the 'Hope' poster, having lifted the image from an Associated Press photograph. ... [W]ith the A.P. seeking compensation for copyright infringement, the artist has sued for a judicial ruling of fair use. This audacious counterattack aside, the general issue is an old story of our litigious republic. Appropriative artists, including David Salle, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince, have been sued at intervals since Campbell’s soup went after Warhol, in 1962 (but then thought better of it). As an art maven, I’m for granting artists blanket liberty to play with any existing image. I also realize that it is not going to happen, and I’m bored by the kerfuffle’s rote recurrence, with its all but scripted lines for plaintiff and defendant alike."