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PostPosted: Fri October 7th, 2011, 13:34 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
the_revelator wrote:



I'm not sure what your point is. Accept what? That the painting is in large part a copy of a photograph?


The point is that the word "painting" suggest someone used paint and paint brushes. This picture / image / artwork / collage is not a painting by that definition. It's a photograph with additional typeface on canvas. Nobody painted it.



Thanks. Sorry, I wasn't sure what your point was.

Well, is it okay that the image isn't exactly a painting? Does that really matter? Most of the early work that Warhol is most famous for, the Marilyns, the Jackies, the Elvis's, aren't paintings. They're photosilkscreens of photographs taken by other people that Warhol then silkscreened onto canvas, then sometimes touched up with bits of paint. A technique that he continued to use for years, in later years the basis for his colorful "flower" series. This technique was also famously used by Robert Rauschenberg who for years in the 70s and 80s took lengths of cloth and photosilkscreened images from photographs by other people (often from newspaper photography) onto the pieces of fabric and draped them on the walls of galleries. Nobody at this point claims these are not great works of art. More recently there is the work of Barbara Kruger, who has used
appropriated photographs, many from advertising, which she has turned into art by placing typeface slogans over the photos. Here's a famous example:

http://www.arthistory.com/arthistory/fe ... d-1989.jpg


Rauschenberg once made a sculpture that was a taxidermied goat with a tire hung around it's neck, which did involve using a lot of paint. Lacking a suitable word for this piece, he named it a "combine."

Then there's Marcel Duchamp's famous "defacing" of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and beard, underneath which he wrote the letters LHOOQ (which apparently is a code for "she has a hot box"), hence the work's title
LHOOQ. It's not really a painting. I'm not sure what to call it:

http://psyc.queensu.ca/~psych382/DuchampLHOOQ.html

Maybe ultimately it doesn't matter exactly what these things are called (there's Duchamp's famous "Why not sleeve, Rose Selavy?" in the Pompidou which consists of a tiny wooden cricket cage stuffed with cotton balls and a thermometer- what exactly is that?). One of my favorites is this piece by Joseph Beuys which he deemed one of his "social sculptures." It's an old wooden chair into which he packed a wedge of lard:

http://www.designboom.com/history/stilllife/08.jpg


Okay. So this was a bit far afield. But just to make the point that we don't always have an exact word to call a particular work. Sometimes as with "combines", people make them up.

Is the issue with the LIFE piece that it's described as a "painting" - which I guess it could be, but I doubt it is. It's probably an image transfer onto which Bob has added commentary in typeface he placed onto the image.
Is this strictly an objection to something that is not a painting being described as a "painting" - probably inaccurately. Or is it that you are bothered that he used a photograph taken by someone else and transformed it by putting commentary on it in typeface? And if you are bothered, is it because you believe that to make something from an already existing image is a type of plagiarism?

I'm not being cute. I know you have looked at all the work in the show carefully. So I'm asking your opinion of that particular piece.

It doesn't bother me. I'm not especially surprised by the LIFE piece. We have known from the Brigette Lacombe photographs that Bob has an area near his house where he keeps pieces of wrecked cars from which he allegedly creates sculptures. That would indicate that he isn't especially wedded to any particular media or a traditional way of approaching art.

Beyond that, this makes perfect sense because his music is basically not traditional songs with traditional lyrics.
Bob has as we know over the years used a masterful hodgepodge in which he quotes from the work of other people, misquotes things, inserts dialogue into songs, throws in nonsense collages of phrases, and is very fond of turning extremely turgid cliches on their heads, as well as referencing traditional ballads, old blues songs, the poetry of Andrew Marvell, and even includes bad jokes we know he did not originate. So if his music is like this, is it a surprise that his art work could turn out to be a funhouse mirror hodgepodge of his own personal reality, which might include references to or manipulation of images that have made an impression on him?

If I've misunderstood you, please correct me. I don't want to be in the position of having misinterpreted why you are referring to the LIFE piece and if, as it seems, it bothers you. As I said, I know you have really looked at the work and am curious about your reaction to it.


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PostPosted: Fri October 7th, 2011, 13:44 GMT 
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rev, thanks for your post. Sorry if I gave the impression that the Life Magazine picture bothers me in any way. It doesn't. I think it is strange that a representative of Gagosian Gallery would refer to it as a "painting" when I think they should be familiar with the proper terms of what to call this work. But this is a minor point, I'm glad they confirmed this work and I find it intriguing to learn now that there are more similar works. I'm eager to find out more about them and I don't care if Bob did nothing more than chosing the cover picks and thinking up the wording, i.e. if he didn't design this at a PC etc.... and no, I don't think it's plagiarism since his source is obvious, far more so than in the Asia paintings.


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PostPosted: Fri October 7th, 2011, 14:18 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
rev, thanks for your post. Sorry if I gave the impression that the Life Magazine picture bothers me in any way. It doesn't. I think it is strange that a representative of Gagosian Gallery would refer to it as a "painting" when I think they should be familiar with the proper terms of what to call this work. But this is a minor point, I'm glad they confirmed this work and I find it intriguing to learn now that there are more similar works. I'm eager to find out more about them and I don't care if Bob did nothing more than chosing the cover picks and thinking up the wording, i.e. if he didn't design this at a PC etc.... and no, I don't think it's plagiarism since his source is obvious, far more so than in the Asia paintings.



Thanks. I quite like the piece myself. I also would like to see any similar work he has done that is not strictly painting.


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PostPosted: Fri October 7th, 2011, 18:55 GMT 
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the_revelator wrote:
A lot of famous artists at this point are little more than celebrities (check out Tracy Emin).


Just the minorest of minor quibbles - hardly even a quibble at all, really - but in your post of excellently expressed sense, revelator I just felt you were maybe being a little harsh on Tracey Emin, who is, imo still a bit more of an artist than a celebrity. I do appreciate the point you were making there though.

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PostPosted: Fri October 7th, 2011, 20:36 GMT 
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the_revelator wrote:
I don't have a clue what this thread is about anymore.
How about this, rev? It's about what is still unresolved; the utter unfathomability of this show.
Paul Wood, an art lecturer and owner of several of the Drawn Blank prints, was asked for his thoughts about Dylan's Asia Series paintings
Quote:
And now, up a couple of mezzanine floors…the Asia Series. I have to say I just cannot make any sense of this. There is nothing 'wrong' or even unusual about painting from photographs. It became a kind of postmodernist routine about living in a world of representations and simulacra, losing our grip on the real, etc etc. But in Dylan’s case the surrounding rhetoric is not about that at all, but instead all about realism, authentic vision, etc etc (What on earth John Elderfield, a reputable historian of modernism, makes of it I can't imagine; his whole pitch in the ‘Brazil Series’ catalogue was about a return to realism, an American tradition stretching back to Thomas Hart Benton and others in the 1930s). Whatever these ‘paintings’ are, they are not works of realism, in the sense of being pictures of reality.

It was obvious at first glance that at least some of them were painted from photographs, but the initial assumption was they were Dylan’s photographs – a source a bit like a quicker version of the original Drawn Blank sketches; which isn’t a problem. It is the nature of the photographs that really generates the tension. Again I wonder, who, who, in either 'institution' be it 'Gagosian' mega-artmarket blue-chip gallery institution or 'the Bob Dylan' institution could have imagined the copying would go unnoticed? Moreover, I simply don't get the point of it. Dylan is the greatest songwriter in the world. If he took the telephone directory he could make it powerful. But he is not a great visual artist. These things are not interesting in themselves, they are only interesting because he is Bob Dylan, and they are starting to be interesting only for the wrong reasons. To repeat myself, they could be very interesting. If Dylan was engaging with some post-colonialist debate about stereotypical Orientalist representations of the Other, blah blah, then you could easily construct a sense for the enterprise. But he clearly isn’t. There is no engagement with the materialism of the source images, either anonymous 19th century, or the very different 20th century Cartier-Bresson, or whatever. There is nothing about why the photographs copied were chosen; not least because the implication was allowed to grow that the resulting paintings did have some rootedness in the recent Asian tours, and Dylan’s observation of reality. The unavoidable question is Why? Back to being puzzled. It can't just be money that drives this. Because in the end the whole product risks being devalued. So what is it? To me, it barely makes sense. I cannot see, from Dylan’s point of view, where the productive, pleasurable work lies. Because he talks so well about art in the accompanying interview. But the terms on which he talks about it are contradicted by the nature of the work itself. It is very strange indeed.
So I am back to the starting point. I could go on, but at present, until more information becomes available, that’s my resting point. Beyond banal censure, the question of what sense we make of this work presently seems unresolvable.


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 01:46 GMT 

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the_revelator wrote:
She's an Artist wrote:

There is something about this whole thing that just seems like there must be more to it than we know yet. Gagosian Gallery is HUGE in the artworld. Gagosian has had an interesting past. Even saying that, I don't think anyone would wish to face two lawsuits about the same issue within a year. I could be wrong. But it doesn't make much sense.

I don't see how anyone like Gagosian or also John Elderfield (a Chief Curator of Painting at MoMA for many, many years and the person who conducted the interview with Dylan that appears in the catalog for the Asia Series show) could have looked at the paintings we've seen from the photos from the Gallery and not immediately realized that these were painted from photos - they have that 'Tell Tale' look. And then asked Dylan outright to comment on his process. And if they still had any doubts, not to do a search on their own before signing a contract to show this work. Doesn't make sense.

And it is beyond laughable that they could see this work, that we've seen so far, and believe that it was Dylan's own 'visual journal' and 'firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape'. It doesn't make sense.

If they knew that this work was done directly from photos that were not Dylan's - and if they knew he had cleared the rights to use this work - why would the catalog state that it was Dylan's own 'Visual journal' and 'firsthand despictions...'? And what would they have seen in this work that would make it so interesting for a major Gallery to show? (I'm hoping it was something more than the 'charm' of the signature.)

I keep thinking there has to be something more to this. Otherwise it is incredibly stupid.



I don't have a clue what this thread is about anymore.

Larry Gagosian is the most powerful art dealer in the world. Rest assured that Bob Dylan did not pull any kind of "fast one" over on Gagosian about whether there would be a lawsuit in regard to the paintings. It seems like it's been very easy for amateurs to source the photographs they reference. If you can do it, what makes you think the staff at Gagosian didn't do this long ago or that Bob hasn't discussed it at length with many people he knows. Bob is way beyond stretching his own canvases. It's likely he employs a number of assistants in his painting studio who are well aware much of his work is "appropriated" from photographs. It's not like he has tried to keep all of this some big secret. Dylan has been friends with some of the most successful artists in Los Angeles for decades. It's not reasonable to think these people have never been in Dylan's studio or ever seen his work. L.A. is a fairly small town, art-wise. It's likely a large number of people have viewed his work long before it was every commercially displayed. Paintings based on photographs, or photographs based on other artists imagery are extremely common in contemporary art. There's nothing weird or underhanded about Dylan painting from photographs. As far as any interviews Dylan has given about his paintings, he can, like other artists, claim any inspiration he wants to about how or why he paints what he paints. He's never been all that forthcoming about his music, has he? Why would anyone expect him to be clinically exact about his paintings?

Why is Gagosian showing Bob's work? Gagosian has always been willing to exhibit people who were just as much celebrities as artists. A lot of famous artists at this point are little more than celebrities (check out Tracy Emin).
Once it became obvious to someone at Gagosian's Gallery there would be a huge amount of publicity for the galleries and possibly a large amount of money to be made by exhibiting Dylan's work, there was no reason not to show it. Look at the huge amount of publicity it has already brought Gagosian, albeit some of it bad. Even bad publicity is useful publicity.

Many artists do not sign their work. It means nothing. There are other ways of establishing provenance of an artwork besides it having a signature. I used to buy photographic prints from galleries in New York by well known photographers. In the same edition, some prints would be signed and some would not. It was often totally random which photographs bore a signature. The fact that there is a receipt from the gallery for the purchase of the work is usually adequate authentication for contemporary art. There are also unique aspects to the work of any artist that make them fairly easy to establish as someone's work. Anyone fretting about buying an unsigned Dylan painting from Gagosian should just find a reputable autograph dealer and purchase a signature. Buying a painting by Dylan just because he signed it is like the art collector Daniel Stern played in "Hannah and Her Sisters" who tells the painter played by Max Von Sydow that he's looking to buy a painting with orange in it to complement his orange sofa.

It's also not at all unusual for galleries to make you ask for a price list if you want to know if a painting is available for sale, and if so, how much it cost. News flash - many of the works by the most prestigious artists showing in the most prestigious galleries in New York, who may be asking half a million dollars for a painting - their work is not for sale to people who visit the gallery. There are waiting lists of collectors who are waiting for the privilege of buying works by particularly successful artists, lists people get on by being early patrons of particular artists, by repeatedly buying their work, or by repeatedly buying a lot of work from the same dealer, or because they have an impressive collection of paintings that an artist would like their work to become a part of. Just because you have half a million dollars and can afford to buy someone's painting doesn't mean the gallery will sell it to you. The art world has some very byzantine rules about who is allowed to own what, where someone is allowed to show their work, what work is allowed to travel to be shown in museums. And don't forget that unlike buying a book or a cd, paintings and other kinds of plastic art are typically one of a kind commodities and as such, represent major investment opportunities and your viewing pleasure in a gallery has next to nothing to do with why a particularly successful artist has a show in that gallery, especially a gallery like Gagosian's. If people think music has become extremely commercialized, they would gag if they knew the truth about the art world. Transactions in galleries like his typically involve breath-taking amounts of money. Bob is probably on the very low end of the price scale in terms of the work sold at Gagosian. His work is likely considered more a novelty than fine art.

Likely that Bob has the show at Gagosian because he's the famous musician Bob Dylan (like this is news to any of you?) and there's no big conspiracy about why a particular piece of work may not be hung in the gallery but only shown to private visitors. This could be because the work has already been sold, because it's not for sale to anyone, because it's only available for sale to certain people, or because the work is especially fragile and cannot withstand being shown in the normal gallery space without the possibility it might incur some damage.

As to the person who mentioned that the painting in question has no brushstrokes: neither do many paintings done using airbrushing.


I have been a part of the artworld long enough that nothing you've said here is a revelation to me. I think if you re-read what I said, you might understand that there was no way I thought Dylan was "pulling any kind of 'fast one' over on Gagosian". (Anyone who knows anything about Gagosian would know what a laugh that would be.)

I'm also pretty sure that Dylan's other career meant that he NEVER needed to stretch his own canvases. But it has seemed that for a very long time Dylan has desired to let us know that he is very interested in drawing and painting. Like HE wished to be something more than an amateur. Something more than another 'Celebrity Artist'.

I keep thinking there has to be something more to this, because if there isn't, then Dylan has pissed away a golden opportunity - a show at the Gagosian - to really show us 'what he's got'. If what we've seen is all there is, then my statement above: 'And what would they (Gagosian & Elderfield) have seen in this work that would make it so interesting for a major gallery to show' can only be answered by 'good sales'. And I do mean 'good sales', because as prices go for work handled by Gagosian, a $350,000 artwork is on the very cheap side.


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 04:08 GMT 
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I agree with Benny! I usually do. Stay the same Benny; never change. Just change your avatars from time to time! :? Love, Joanna XOXOX


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 05:27 GMT 
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charlesdarwin - I agree with you. I was way too hard on Tracy Emin. I like quite a bit of her work, at least what I'm familiar with. It's hard when an artist is so socially visible and also appears to base much of their work on the very personal not to think of them as a celebrity. The same could be said of Jeff Koons. This was an unfair comment to make about Emin, especially when I think that the same criticism could have applied to Louise Bourgeois, someone whose work I dearly love. I tend to hold painters and writers to a different standard than musicians and actors as far as their public visibility, which is obviously a stupid prejudice I should get rid of.


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 13:40 GMT 

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Though very disappointed in the lack of credit given to the original artists, I am headed to NY today and will try to catch this exhibit.


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 14:06 GMT 
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Exhibition video, new to Gagosian website:
http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/201 ... lan/video/


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 15:33 GMT 
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I wish I could go to N.Y. to see the exhibition these painting are really beautiful .
Thanks JP


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 15:36 GMT 
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And the ones we've not seen before are not in the Okinawa collection. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 15:55 GMT 
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I don’t care where Bob get the photo’s from … I’m only interested how he paints them ... the colors he just … the brush strokes how he build up the painting etc.
I’m a little bit sad now that I can’t go to the exhibition :( :cry:
Good luck with your search for the other paintings Sherlock Parker I bet you will find them to :P


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 15:59 GMT 
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Well, as I said, they are no in the usual sources (Okinawa, Magnum, Life).


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PostPosted: Sat October 8th, 2011, 16:08 GMT 
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Try corbis .


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PostPosted: Mon October 10th, 2011, 12:11 GMT 

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Saw the exhibit on Saturday. I will admit it is very impressive. As shown in the video posted above, the space is wonderful and the placement of the pieces is light and airy. The works are large. I hadn't read every comment on this thread beforehand, but the first thing that hit me was that the paintings were not signed. I thought that bizarre, notwithstanding the comments above that indicate that is not unusual for artists. But he signed the numbered prints that sold for a fraction of the cost of these paintings! If I were so inclined and/or able to purchase one of Bob's paintings (which I'm neither) I would most certainly want his signature.

I don't think even one of these paintings is Bob's original composition, "inspired by his travels". That's bullshit. Surely The Emperor did not sit still so Bob could paint him! But the choice of colors and the brushstrokes are well done, IMHO, and I am neither an artist nor a qualified critic. (I did purchase a signed and numbered print from Bob's first watercolor collection.)

Bottom line for me is that I'm glad I saw the works, but if I were able to afford the work I probably wouldn't buy. No signature???
Puleeeeze. For this artist, that really is the most important aspect of the collection.


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PostPosted: Tue October 11th, 2011, 20:43 GMT 
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On the left: a photo of Patrice Lumumba from the late 1950s/early 1960s. On the right Luc Tuymans' painting "Lumumba" (2000). Luc Tuymans is one of the best, most respected and most expensive living painters. He works from photographs. He does not credit his sources. SO WHAT. His paintings are great. Just like Dylan's paintings.


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PostPosted: Tue October 11th, 2011, 21:01 GMT 
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Image

I'm so tired of examples.

Left, a photo of a Rastafarian from Patrick Cariou's "Yes, Rasta" and, right, a painting from Richard Prince's "Canal Zone" series.

March 21, 2011 via "The Art Newspaper"
http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles ... sian/23387

Quote:
A US District judge has ruled in favour of photographer Patrick Cariou in his copyright lawsuit against artist Richard Prince.

Cariou originally filed suit for copyright infringement against Prince, Larry Gagosian, Gagosian Gallery, and Rizzoli books in December 2008 after a number of his photographs were reappropriated without consent in Prince’s “Canal Zone” series. The photographs first appeared in Cariou’s 2000 publication, Yes, Rasta, a photographic book produced after spending six years documenting Jamaican Rastafarians.

Prince “admits to using at least 41 photos from Yes, Rasta”, according to the judge’s decision, but had claimed “fair-use” for transforming the original works, as opposed to creating derivative images
.

Mr. Prince's fatal mistake - outside of getting caught - was "reappropriation without consent," an error which Mr. Dylan did not make. Would anyone like to speculate that Mr. Dylan's showing at the Gagosian, or that Mr. Prince contributed an essay to the "Asia Series" catalog is coincidence?


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PostPosted: Tue October 11th, 2011, 21:03 GMT 
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The whole "plagiarism" storm in a teacup about Dylan's "Asia Series" does not tell you anything about Dylan's paintings, it only tells you that most people writing about art don't know s**t about art.

I think that the "Asia Series" paintings are some of Dylan's best. In terms of their "painterly" qualities they are on the same level as many works by the most successful painters working today [Luc Tuymans, Gerhard Richter, Peter Doig, Gary Hume, Richard Prince (who writes about Dylan in the "Asia Series" catalogue)].

By the way – many famous paintings by Gauguin, Van Gogh, Cezannne etc, etc. were made from photos. Some examples: http://www.fogonazos.es/2006/11/famous- ... hs_06.html Some of Gauguin's "exotic" paintings were based on studio photographs and postcards. Does that mean they are inferior paintings? No, they are some of the best paintings ever made.


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PostPosted: Tue October 11th, 2011, 22:35 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
On the left: a photo of Patrice Lumumba from the late 1950s/early 1960s. On the right Luc Tuymans' painting "Lumumba" (2000). Luc Tuymans is one of the best, most respected and most expensive living painters. He works from photographs. He does not credit his sources. SO WHAT. His paintings are great. Just like Dylan's paintings.




I saw a terrific show by Tuymans years ago and still have the catalog from it. It includes the Patrice Lumumba portrait, as well as many others. None of the portraits painted from photographs have photgraphers credits. Luc Tuymans, a Belgian artist born in 1958, could only have painted the portrait from a photgraph as Lumumba was assassinated in the Republic of Congo in 1961. Tuymans is a superb artist and I'm not aware of any controversy whatsoever regarding whether he uses photographs as references for some of his paintings.


It's true that crying "plagarism" when it comes to borrowing images in art is virtually pointless. Everything that can be painted already exists somewhere as a photograph. Having a photograph of something does not necessarily mean you can use it to make a good painting.


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PostPosted: Sat October 15th, 2011, 21:27 GMT 

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An article on today's Expecting rain just reminded me of a glaring rip off of Bob Dylan's work by college professors and other so called learned people. They have the nerve to write books and give college courses on the meaning of Bob's writings and songs, body of work and LIFE!!! Did any of these people check with him about this? Did they ask his permission? Are they sharing the proceeds with him. I don't think so.
It is one thing for these people to analyse the work of someone who wrote literature a long time ago and is no longer around to consult. but to pretend to be an expert just because they saw a movie a dozen times,or read a poem or lyrics of a song over and over again. or go on line and become extremely long winded on the subject of the deeper meaning and portents of his so called melancholy writings, is to me a hell of a lot of nerve and the height of plagiaerisim.
The act of taking some old photographs and turning them into something much more interesting is something he is being vilified about when every day he gets ripped of. we all experience happiness and sadness in our lives. some of us do it under the glaring spotlight. Some of us do it in seclusion and quiet. Some of us are much more gifted at expressing that experience. Can we just appreciate that gift and treasure it and not try to analyse it so much?

Love you Bob
Angel


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PostPosted: Sat October 15th, 2011, 21:53 GMT 

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AvengingAngel wrote:
An article on today's Expecting rain just reminded me of a glaring rip off of Bob Dylan's work by college professors and other so called learned people. They have the nerve to write books and give college courses on the meaning of Bob's writings and songs, body of work and LIFE!!! Did any of these people check with him about this? Did they ask his permission? Are they sharing the proceeds with him. I don't think so.
It is one thing for these people to analyse the work of someone who wrote literature a long time ago and is no longer around to consult. but to pretend to be an expert just because they saw a movie a dozen times,or read a poem or lyrics of a song over and over again. or go on line and become extremely long winded on the subject of the deeper meaning and portents of his so called melancholy writings, is to me a hell of a lot of nerve and the height of plagiaerisim.
The act of taking some old photographs and turning them into something much more interesting is something he is being vilified about when every day he gets ripped of. we all experience happiness and sadness in our lives. some of us do it under the glaring spotlight. Some of us do it in seclusion and quiet. Some of us are much more gifted at expressing that experience. Can we just appreciate that gift and treasure it and not try to analyse it so much?

Love you Bob
Angel



Beautiful!! Great perspective, never thought of it like that.
Thank you Angel!!


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PostPosted: Sat October 15th, 2011, 22:18 GMT 
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The exhibition catalogue will shortly be available through European amazon outlets. Yay!! :D :D


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PostPosted: Sat October 15th, 2011, 23:39 GMT 
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Saw the exhibit today! It was pretty great and there were a ton of people, some seriously debating on buying the final ones for sale. i have nothing special to add to the conversation but I would like to comment that Bob's paintings were indeed great and on good size canvases. The other exhibit on the floor was also pretty great, though very unsettling.


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PostPosted: Sat October 15th, 2011, 23:43 GMT 
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Joined: Wed May 11th, 2011, 05:31 GMT
Posts: 5032
Ah, I'm jealous, but glad you enjoyed it. I wish I could go see it, but I have school. And I think the exhibition ends before winter break begins. :(


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