Thursday, January 29, 2015

I Am Charlie



Woman Sues Over Use of Her School Photo on Novelty Flask


A New Mexico woman, Veronica Vigil, is suing the maker of novelty products over a flask that includes her likeness and the phrase “I’m going to be the most popular girl in rehab.”

The suit, which charges Taintor with defamation, invasion of privacy and unfair trade practices, seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages. In her complaint, Vigil says Anne Taintor Inc. obtained and used her high school graduation picture from 1970 without her permission and has defamed her by linking her image to a product that makes light of substance abuse, in direct conflict with the way Vigil lives her life.

Appropriation artists always ask me, “If I use an image of a woman from a long time ago [like 1970], what’s the likelihood that that woman will find out I’m using her image?” Well, I think we’ve answered that question.


How Risky Are Art Consignments?

Read this article on National Law Review (via our good friend, Donn Zaretsky).


Why the Resurgence of the Artists Rights Contract?


The use (or absence) of contractual agreements in the so-called artworld has always been a discussion. But recently there has been a resurgence in the analysis of how the use of the contractual agreement impacts the practical, historical, and theoretical fields of art. Why the sudden interest in the written agreement, and specifically, the Artists Rights Transfer Agreement drafted by Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky?

I am currently working on an essay that touches on this issue. There are also a growing number of historians and academics researching this very topic, such as Maria Eichhorn and Joan Kee, and more specifically on Siegelaub and Projansky’s and artist contracts, art historian and curator, Lauren van Haaften-Schick.

In this limited space (this is a blog, after all), I will say that there are artists that use the written agreement as medium, some more successfully than others. The unsuccessful ones tend to use law (and the contract) in mostly symbolic form. Then there are artists that use law (and the contract) in a more, what I call, speculative form. These are the successful ones. For a detailed analysis on this topic you’ll just have to wait for my essay.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting Hyperallergic review of a current NYC art exhibition titled, aptly, The Contract. Note how, according to the article, all sales from The Contract exhibition require the buyer to sign the Artists Rights Transfer Agreement. Interesting, indeed!


The Best Art Tattoos of All Time?

Savannah Lampley's "Readymade," nicely placed on some very athletic-looking legs.

Savannah Lampley’s “Readymade,” nicely placed on some very athletic-looking legs.

I mean, who doesn’t want a readymade on their thigh, or Frida Kahlo on their shoulder, right? Got any you’d like to share? Post ‘em here.



More French Frying of Jeff Koons

Not sure if plagiarism is actionable in France, so if any French lawyers are reading this, please chime in.

But until we get the distinctions between copyright infringement and plagiarism right (ironically, I’m writing on that subject matter as we speak), here’s Hyperallergic on another claim against a Jeff Koons artwork.


Happy New Year!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for continuing to support us, encourage us, challenge us, correct us, and remind us that what we do matters. The fact that we receive e-mails from students, attorneys, law professors, and artists regarding our posts and the growing field of art & law confirms that we impact the lives of individuals on a daily basis. So just when we think no one is reading our posts, there you are. That is the biggest gift we could ever ask for!

Thank you for sticking with us, and Happy New Year!


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