Tessar Lo Jul 9, 2008 19:38:23 GMT -8
Post by commandax on Jul 9, 2008 19:38:23 GMT -8
when a painting is redone like the ones in this show, is any kind of consent necessary?
In the US, copyright law only protects an artwork for its owner (or heirs) for the lifetime of the artist, plus 70 years. These four images are in the public domain, as their authors have been dead more than 70 years.
If that were not the case, there would still be a strong argument that the reinterpretations were done in the spirt of pastiche or homage. As long as the reinterpreted artwork could in no way be confused with the original artist's work, it falls into the "fair use" divide in copyright law. However, that's a murky area, and estates of recently deceased artists regularly strike down parodists and others who pay tribute to artists in this manner, citing droit moral, the "moral right" to protect the artist's honor or reputation (although this "right" is not an official part of US law). Mrs. Ted Geisel is infamous for this, as is the estate of Warhol – which is kind of ironic, considering how much pastiche Andy engaged in himself. Generally they win the battle, as they have money and legal resources with which their pasticheur can rarely compete, even though their actual legal footing is rather shaky.
Looking at the show link, I see that a couple of the paintings reinterpreted were fairly recent – Keith Haring and Frida Kahlo, for example – but 90% of the source pieces were in the public domain, so they were fair game.
Tessar's reinterpretation was of Gaugin's "The Spirit of the Dead Keep Watch," painted in 1892. Gaugin died in 1903.
Here are the rest of the images on the show card:
Van Gogh's "Still Life with 12 Sunflowers," painted in 1888. Van Gogh died in 1890.
John Everett Millais' "Ophelia," painted in 1852. Millais died in 1896.
Michelangelo's "Creation of Man," painted in 1512 in the Sistine Chapel.