For a while now, I’d say, almost a decade, I’ve been stealing. Of course I don’t call it stealing, I call it “appropriation.” And appropriation in art is easy to defend, “ blah blah Duchamp” But i think it maybe time to remind people why I “appropriate”
In the early work it was about ‘deja vu’ and by all means it’s still about that, but it has grown into so much more. It’s as much about the transformative process from one image to another as it is about that, Does is save me work? of course it does, but unless I start to make movies and rip myself off, maybe go back in time and shoot a film noir classic, the appropriation is necessary. It doesn’t distract from the conversation it adds to it.
Most recently I’ve been appropriating images for digital work. Simply put I’m taking gallery images and adding my artwork to the walls, my appropriated previous works. “That’s so meta” right, ick.
Unfortunately this is harder to defend. How do I justify a deja vu argument again appropriated images that only a handful of people have ever seen, or in this case googled…
For one, its the space. The all familiar scene from galleries or even the of the Armory Show. Concrete floors and white walls without molding — my deja vu. As a reflective process of my previous work, I kind of like it; Pushing the boundary of ‘stolen’ images, while still being art and still being in good taste.
Just as I applied my noir filter to movie stills I’m applying it to the gallery images /selectively/.
A comparison to my 8×8 pan&scan series become applicable. It was exercise in passive direction. The painting and images placed into these shots have to follow guideline parameters beyond my control, just like pan & scan series.
A few more things, I keep the file name of the appropriated jpgs, and they are resaved as them. I think thats important. But i don’t have a rational – is it because of guilt? I don’t have guilt I have fear when I appropriate, I think its more reflective of I’m not hiding the fact I appropriated this image.
If had the money for lawyers I would exclusively use Getty Images, notoriously known for threatening lawsuits for ‘illegal’ use of their images.
In summary, I’m still ‘stealing’ for deja vu and more recently as a reflective process. As I think more on it I’ll write more about it,
As always I don’t pretend to be a writer, there’s obviously some bad grammar and spelling in here