Category Archives: Art

Copyright Fridays! Graffiti is protected by federal law: the Long Island City 5Pointz verdict

Attitudes towards graffiti have changed radically over the past 30 years. Now, there’s typically a legal contract and mutual agreement between real estate developers and mural artists to create the beautiful works you see on the sides of buildings all over Tampa Bay and in many cities in the world. While the differences between “mural art” and “graffiti” can still be disputed, the case illustrated in the article below proves that any artwork has worth and is protected by federal law.

The Long Island City 5Pointz building was spectacular (I was living in New York at the time when this divisive issue was being discussed), and it drew in tourists and natives alike to LIC. That this case took so long is a testament to how complicated copyright law can be, especially when it comes to artists’ rights.

In a Surprise Verdict, Jury Says Developer Broke the Law by Whitewashing 5Pointz Graffiti Mecca

But the judge has yet to make his final ruling.

A federal court jury in Brooklyn has handed a preliminary victory to a group of graffiti and aerosol artists in a closely watched case that pitted the rights of street artists against those of a property developer.

The six-person jury found that real estate developer Gerald Wolkoff and his related companies broke the law when, in 2014, he whitewashed the 5Pointz graffiti mecca in Long Island City in the middle of the night. However, the jury decision will serve only as a recommendation to the case’s presiding judge, Frederick Block, who has yet to hand down a final verdict and assess whether any damages must be paid…..read more

Advertisements

Are you an artist? Learn how to incorporate other work into your own.

It’s called Fair Use. Learn how to mix, collage, and use things that inspire you into your own work without infringing on copyright. Check out the infographic below.

From the College Art Association on the topic of Fair Use in the Visual Arts:

For centuries, artists have incorporated the work of others as part of their creative practice. Today, many artists occasionally or routinely reference and incorporate artworks and other cultural productions in their own creations. Such quotation is part of the construction of new culture, which necessarily builds on existing culture. It often provides a new interpretation of existing works, and may (or may not) be deliberately confrontational. Increasingly, artists employ digital tools to incorporate existing (including digital) works into their own, making uses that range from pastiche and collage (remix), to the creation of new soundscapes and lightscapes. Sometimes this copying is of a kind that might infringe copyright, and sometimes not. But whatever the technique, and whatever may be used (from motifs or themes to specific images, text, or sounds), new art can be generated.

PRINCIPLE: Artists may invoke fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium, subject to certain limitations:

LIMITATIONS:

  • Artists should avoid uses of existing copyrighted material that do not generate new artistic meaning, being aware that a change of medium, without more, may not meet this standard.
  • The use of a preexisting work, whether in part or in whole, should be justified by the artistic objective, and artists who deliberately repurpose copyrighted works should be prepared to explain their rationales both for doing so and for the extent of their uses.
  • Artists should avoid suggesting that incorporated elements are original to them, unless that suggestion is integral to the meaning of the new work.
  • When copying another’s work, an artist should cite the source, whether in the new work or elsewhere (by means such as labeling or embedding), unless there is an articulable aesthetic basis for not doing so.

fair-use-in-making-art

Free Online Art Books

kaneThe Art Canada Institute produces beautiful (and free!) online art books for anyone to read. Canadian and Inuit artists are represented here, from 19th century photographers to contemporary folk artists, the famous, and not so well known. Browse around, they are worth a look.

Free good quality images on the web

BI-1953-0546B-30

Praalwagen met zeemonster, 1594, Pieter van der Borcht (I), Officina Plantiniana, 1594 – 1595 from The Rijksmuseum

In honor of Fair Use week, here is a handy list of free digital images that can be used for educational (non-commercial) purposes. If you ever need a high quality image for a paper or presentation, check out the following sites.

Remember! Everything shows up in a Google Image search – that includes digital copies that have been manipulated in all sorts of ways. If you want to see what the original work of art looks like, go to the source! The source is usually the museum in which it’s held, or a database like Artstor where the images are taken by professional photographers.

The Rijksmuseum offers high-res digital downloads free for non-commercial use. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio

LACMA has about 20,000 high-res digital downloads for any use. http://collections.lacma.org/

Yale Digital Commons has 250,000 images “without license.” http://discover.odai.yale.edu/ydc/

Wikimedia Commons tries to aggregate a number of institutions’ free content. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

The National Gallery of Art offers high-res downloads for non-commercial use. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Almost everything in the Flickr Commons is downloadable. http://www.flickr.com/commons/

A compilation of sources from Brown University. The list is annotated and includes notes when images are freely available: https://sites.google.com/a/brown.edu/resources-in-art-and-architecture-on-the-web/image-resources/image-resources-vendors-museums-etc

University of Colorado, Boulder: http://cuart.colorado.edu/resources/vrc/find/ (scroll down to the “Find Images Elsewhere on the Web”)

NGA Images (National Gallery of Art in Washington DC)
https://images.nga.gov/en/page/show_home_page.html

LACMA unrestricted images collection:
http://www.lacma.org/image-library

The Walters Art  Museum
http://art.thewalters.org/

The British Museum Free Non-Commercial Use Images:
http://www.britishmuseum.org/join_in/using_digital_images/using_digital_images.aspx?asset_id=852454&objectId=581907&partId=1

UCLA : You might also find some use in the Creative Commons, Open Content, & Public Domain images tab of the Image Resources research guide at: http://guides.library.ucla.edu/content.php?pid=126509&sid=4342604.

Currier Museum of Art: A quick resource guide for fair use images here: http://currierartlibrary.wordpress.com/databases/image-collections/

Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. Another great resource for digital images http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/mqc

Getty Open Content Program: High resolution images of works from the Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute that are in the public domain and may be used freely. The Getty Research Institute recently added 5,400 images to the Open Content Program.  http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/5400-images-from-getty-research-institutes-special-collections-now-available-as-open-content/

Google Art Project

The Google Art Project has thousands of high quality scans of art from all over the world.

“The Art Project is a collaboration between Google and 151 acclaimed art partners from across 40 countries. Using a combination of various Google technologies and expert information provided by our museum partners, we have created a unique online art experience. Users can explore a wide range of artworks at brushstroke level detail, take a virtual tour of a museum and even build their own collections to share. With a team of Googlers working across many product areas we are able to harness the best of Google to power the Art Project experience. Few people will ever be lucky enough to be able to visit every museum or see every work of art they’re interested in but now many more can enjoy over 30 000 works of art from sculpture to architecture and drawings and explore over 150 collections from 40 countries, all in one place. We’re also lucky at Google to have the technology to make this kind of project a reality.”

Tampa Museum of Art

There are some great exhibitions currently running at the Tampa Museum of Art just across the river. Admission for students is $5.

Running from January 28 to May 6, 2012 is Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections.

From the TMA:

“The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections, an exhibition of approximately 80 works of art that span the career of this internationally renowned artist. Bearden (1911-1988) is widely regarded as one of the most important African-American artists who worked in the United States during the 20th century. He has been the focus of many solo exhibitions, including presentations at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1987 he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Ronald Reagan.”

Read more about this artist here.

The Tampa Museum of Art is also presenting John Cage 33 1/3 – Performed by Audience A Celebration of the Centenary of the Composer’s Birth from January 28 to May 6, 2012.

From the exhibition description:

“One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, John Cage (1912- 1992) created sound and performance works that broke through boundary after boundary. In celebration of his enduring legacy and the 2012 centenary of his birth, the Museum is pleased to present John Cage’s 33-1/3 – Performed by Audience – an interactive installation guest curated by Jade Dellinger.

“Conceived in 1969 as an ‘audience participation’ work, John Cage’s original ‘score’ simply stipulated that the gallery be filled with about a dozen record players and two- to three-hundred vinyl records. Museum visitors were encouraged to act as DJs and create a musical mix by playing records freely and thus performing the work.

“According to guest curator Jade Dellinger, ‘when the work was first installed at the University of California in Davis, a local record store graciously volunteered the hundreds of necessary records. However, as Cage never discussed condition or specified titles, the store promptly sent over the most common and undesirable, damaged and utterly unsalable records in their inventory.’ Dellinger was inspired by a line from a letter he received in the 1980’s from Cage in which the composer noted that ‘I am not interested in the names of movements but rather in seeing and making things not seen before.'”

The Macdonald Kelce Library carries a book on Bearden’s children’s art titled The Art of Romare Bearden, and a more critical work written by Bearden titled A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present in the reference section.

We also carry books about John Cage, music written by John Cage, and, for those of you with turntables, albums by John Cage. We also have several databases where you can hear John Cage compositions.