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November 12th, 2013

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Patrick Cariou’s Copyright Claim Against Richard Prince

An image from Richard Cariou's book Yes, Rasta, as it was altered by Richard Prince.

An image from Richard Cariou’s book Yes, Rasta, as it was altered by Richard Prince.

The US Supreme Court has declined to review Patrick Cariou’s copyright infringement claim against artist Richard Prince, the Associated Press has reported.

A federal appeals court ruled last spring that artist Richard Prince did not infringe Cariou’s copyrights by reproducing several dozen of Cariou’s images without permission. The appeals court said Prince’s use of Cariou’s images was fair use in most instances, overturning a lower court ruling that had declared Prince liable for infringement.

By refusing to hear the case, the US Supreme Court has effectively let the appeals court decision stand. The high court did not give a reason for its decision.

At issue in the case was a series of paintings and collages that Prince created by appropriating images from Cariou’s book Yes, Rasta. Prince altered the images in various ways for a series of paintings called “Canal Zone,” which he displayed at the Gagosian gallery in New York in 2008. Most of the works eventually sold, fetching a total of $10.4 million.

In its ruling for Prince, The appeals court took a broad view of fair use, finding that Prince’s works qualified as fair use even though they were not intended as commentary on the original works by Cariou. The decision was a victory for appropriation artists, who take elements of works by other artists without permission, and use them in new contexts, often as a form of commentary on society or popular culture.

Related:
Richard Prince Did Not Infringe Patrick Cariou’s Photos, Appeals Court Says

November 8th, 2013

George Eastman House Names Lisa Hostetler Curator-In-Charge of Photography

Lisa Hostetler has been named Curator-in-Charge of the Department of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. She will assume the role at the end of the year. The announcement was made by today by Bruce Barnes, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director at the Eastman House, via a press release.

Hostetler is currently curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Previously, she was the curator of photographs at the Milwaukee Art Museum for seven years, where she curated exhibitions  including “Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America,” “Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts,” and “In Living Color: Photographs by Saul Leiter”. In addition to editing or contributing to the catalogues of several shows she curated, Hostetler also contributed to the book Animals are Outside Today by photographer Colleen Plumb.

From 2001 to 2005, Hostetler was a research associate at the Metropolitan Museum’s department of photographs, and before that, she was registrar at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.

October 11th, 2013

Nick Brandt’s Photographs Go Viral, But Media and the Internet Miss the Point

We recently interviewed Nick Brandt about his new book of fine-art photographs from East Africa, and how his photographic work led to the creation of Big Life, his foundation, which protects elephants and other wildlife from poachers across a two million acre swath of land in the Amboseli ecosystem.

Brandt’s photographs and commitment to conservation speak for themselves. In the past week his work has appeared on websites like Huffington Post, ABC News, Grist, Gizmodo, The Verge and several others.

Yet the majority of the coverage of Brandt’s new work hasn’t focused on the animals killed by poachers; instead writers and editors have keyed on the images in his book showing birds and bats that died in—and were calcified by—a caustic lake in Tanzania. While those images of birds that look strangely alive in death have generated fascination and thousands of comments across various sites, Brandt’s conservation message of has gone largely unremarked both by the media outlets and their audiences.

“Media only wanted to cover the calcifieds, not anything related to conservation.” Brandt told PDN via email. “I tried to persuade some to expand their coverage from just the calcifieds, but in all but two instances failed—the calcifieds were the story du jour. Elephants and lions being annihilated across Africa seemed to be met with a cyber-‘whatever’ on the whole.” (more…)

October 10th, 2013

Part Art and Book Fair, Part Photo Fest, Unseen Delivers Energy, Mixed Reviews From Sellers in Second Year

© Amber Terranova

© Thijs Boontjes

In its second year, Unseen Art Fair drew an international audience to Amsterdam to view previously un-exhibited work from established artists and emerging talents. Set against the industrial backdrop of a repurposed nineteenth century coal gas power plant, the “art fair with a festival flair,” as organizers dubbed it, featured plenty of energy and excitement, but drew mixed reactions from gallerists, with some noting that combining an art fair, book fair and photo festival, with artist talks and other programming, distracted from the business of print sales. (more…)

August 23rd, 2013

Crusade for Collecting: A Controversial Experiment Meant to Create New Photo Collectors

Instagram grid by @crusade4art

Instagram images from the @crusade4art Crusade for Collecting organized by Jennifer Schwartz.


Earlier this year Jennifer Schwartz, a gallerist and the founder of the non-profit arts organization Crusade for Art, traveled to cities around the country in an effort to create demand for the work of emerging photographers by encouraging people she met on the street to consider collecting art. Working with five photographers in each of the cities she visited, Schwartz organized street-side exhibitions, asking the photographers to talk with passersby about their work, and to give away signed, non-editioned prints to those who wanted them. The project drew both criticism and skepticism, but it also, Schwartz says, created positive dialogue between artists and would-be collectors.
PDN invited Schwartz to explain the motivation behind the trip and recap her experiences.

Nearly five years ago I began a journey to cultivate audiences for art, specifically the work of emerging photographers. By creating innovative programs that make art immediately and affordably accessible to new audiences, both online and through special events, my goals have been: to promote and develop the careers of talented, emerging, contemporary photographers and to educate and cultivate a new crop of collectors.

Working with emerging photographers, I recognized from the beginning that the challenge is to find an audience for these artists. Too often as gallery owners, we hang the art and then wait for an audience to come. With that in mind, I created Crusade for Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating demand for art by creating opportunities to introduce new collectors to artists and their work.

In my Atlanta gallery, I have discovered that the most successful programs to get new people interested in art involve meeting the artist and making a personal connection. They give people who have had only a limited relationship with art a unique, fun experience where they engage with photography and the artists in a thoughtful way. These programs also give photographers an opportunity to interact directly with an audience and advocate for themselves and their work.

In April 2013 I took this concept on the road with a special project, the Crusade for Collecting Tour. Traveling to ten cities over the course of three months in a 1977 VW bus (affectionately named Lady Blue and purchased through funds raised on Kickstarter), I staged spontaneous pop-up events to give away original, signed photographs and bring grassroots art appreciation to the streets, moving outside the traditional boundaries of the art world. (more…)

August 23rd, 2013

Fine-Art Photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa Faces Murder Trial August 26

© Aperture/photo by Zwelethu Mthethwa

© Aperture/photo by Zwelethu Mthethwa

Zwelethu Mthethwa, the South African fine-art photographer, will go on trial on Monday, charged with murdering a woman on a street in a suburb of Cape Town, according to South Africa’s Mail & Guardian. Mthethwa was arrested May 5, accused of beating and kicking Noku­phila Kumalo to death. Die Burger, an Afrikaans-language newspaper, reported in June that a man identified as Mthethwa had been caught on closed circuit television on April 13 getting out of his car and repeatedly hitting Kumalo, then kicking her after she fell to the ground.

Mthethwa has denied the charge. He was released on bail following his arrest.

When contacted by PDN, Mthethwa’s US dealer, Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, would not comment on the case.

In an interview with a South African paper in June, Mark Read, director of the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg, which represents Mthethwa, said that when he spoke to the artist, he “was keen to say that it will all be sorted out.”

A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, Mthethwa has widely exhibited his portraits of black residents of South Africa, including migrant workers, miners and cane farmers. His work was included in the 2005 Venice Biennale, and his first monograph was published by Aperture in 2010, the year a solo exhibition of his work was shown at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. In a 2010 interview with PDN, Mthethwa said that in photographing marginalized South Africans in their homes, “I really wanted to empower the people.”

Related Articles
Zwelethu Mthethwa: Color and Commonality

August 14th, 2013

How to Submit a Book Proposal to Gerhard Steidl

Gerhard Steidl (right) and photographer Mitch Epstein. © Torsten Nyström

Gerhard Steidl (right) at work with photographer Mitch Epstein. ©Torsten Nyström

Photographers who have had books published by Gerhard Steidl tell PDN that the process is an unforgettable creative journey with a master printer who spares almost no expense to realize their visions. “Being there in Steidlville is almost a religious experience,” says photographer Christopher Morris, who had a second book published by Steidl last year. “You don’t want it to end.” No wonder Steidl gets 1,200 unsolicited book proposals every year. Gerhard Steidl reviews every one of them, and publishes only the rare few that challenge him politically or intellectually, or that surprise him in some way, as he explains in a profile that is now available at PDNOnline. For those interested in submitting book proposals, one option is to send e-mail directly to gsteidl@steidl.de with the word “Submission” in the subject line. Steidl says it doesn’t matter whether he receives submissions in analog or digital format, but Morris advises, “Definitely do not send anything in digital format. He’s a man who likes to touch things, and look at paper. Scotch tape and photographs on paper is what you need to send him.” For hard copy submissions, the address is: Gerhard Steidl – Druckerei & Verlag GmbH & Co. OHG, Düstere Straße 4 – D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Related:
Why Gerhard Steidl Is a Book Publishing Master

August 6th, 2013

Now in Beta: Amazon’s Platform for Selling Fine-Art Prints

Amazon-Fine-Art-Print-Cartier-BressonAmazon, the online retailer, has launched the beta version of its new online marketplace for photographic prints. You can take a look here.

Amazon is currently offering over 5,000 photographic prints on the site. Like other goods that are advertised on the Amazon marketplace, fulfillment is handled by another retailer — in this case, art galleries.  If you’ve ever shopped for a hairdryer or a wristwatch on Amazon, you know how it works: A breakdown of categories and prices appears on the left. Click on “Photographs” and Amazon lets you sort them by medium (C-prints, silver gelatin photographs, archival digital photographs), subject (architecture, nature, fashion, people) and “style,” which Amazon defines by terms such as Art Photography, Digital Art, Modern Art, Postmodern & Contemporary Styles. You can also set the price range you would like to browse.

The highest priced print on the site is a one-of-a-kind print by Dieter Blum; it’s $120,000. The site also offers a set of four images, the 32nd in an edition of 35, by Ed Ruscha; it’s offered for $80,000, and is sold through the Richard Levy Gallery (which is selling 43 images on the site by many photographers including Gregory Crewdson). A $75,000 Julius Shulman on the site and a $50,000 print of Sebastiao Salgado’s image “Bombay, India, (Churchgate Station), 1995″ are being sold through Fahey/Klein Gallery, which has 171 images on Amazon. The edition sizes of the Shulman and the Salgado are not listed. The least expensive prints on the site sell for under $30.

Other photographers whose prints are sold through Amazon include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mark Laita, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Vik Muniz, Michael Kenna, Julie Blackmon, Harry Benson, William Abranowicz, Camille Seaman and Jennifer Shaw. Among the participating galleries are Modernbook Gallery, Oxenberg Fine Art, Holden Luntz Gallery, RoGallery, Afterimage Gallery and Soulcatcher Studio.

It seems that customers will also be able to post reviews of the works once they’ve bought them.  Are you at all curious to know how the buyer of a Julius Shulman “rates” that purchase? We think we might cringe reading it.

*Photo, above: The Amazon page that displays “On the Banks of the Marne, France” by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Photo © Henri Cartier-Bresson/courtesy Fahey/Klein Gallery.

Related Articles:
How To Sell Your Photos Professionally

A Guide to Pricing Your Prints

August 6th, 2013

Judge Dismisses Privacy Suit Against “Voyeur” Artist Arne Svenson

From "The Neighbors," 2012. ©Arne Svenson

From “The Neighbors,” 2012. ©Arne Svenson

The New York photographer who provoked controversy by photographing his neighbors through their apartment windows and exhibiting the images in a gallery has fended off lawsuit for invasion of privacy.

New York State court judge Judge Eileen  A. Rakower dismissed the claim against photographer Arne Svenson, ruling that the photos in question were protected by the First Amendment. She also ruled that the images did not violate New York State civil rights laws, as the plaintiffs had claimed.

“An artist may create and sell a work of art that resembles an individual without his or her written consent,” Judge Rakower wrote in her decision, underscoring a central principle of the case.

Read the complete story at PDNonline.com.

 

August 1st, 2013

Detroit Native Dave Jordano Uses Street Photography to Counter “Ruin Porn”

 

© Dave Jordano 2013

© Dave Jordano 2013

Photographer Dave Jordano’s three-year project “Detroit–Unbroken Down,” featured in this week’s Time magazine and on a recent post on Time’s Lightbox, represent a return to Jordano’s roots – both personally and professionally. Jordano grew up in Detroit, and he began revisiting it three years ago to document how it had changed since 1977, when he moved to Chicago to launch his commercial photography career. The project also represents a return to the documentary street photography he had done before he began shooting ad campaigns. Almost a decade after he began transitioning from advertising work to fine-art photography, Jordano, 65, has had several projects exhibited and sold prints to several museum collections. But, he says, “This Detroit work is the biggest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think the project’s finished yet.”

In 2010, Jordano noticed that there were many photo books being published about Detroit, all focused on “abandonment and emptiness.” He says, “The term ‘ruin porn’ was used to describe it.” Jordano still had the street photos he’d shot in Detroit as a photo student in the 1970s, and he decided to try a re-photographing the same streets 35 years later. But the project soon changed course. Over the course of 22 trips in the last three years, he’s started focusing on “portraiture and small moments.” He explains, “There are people living here and they’re stuck here because they can’t afford to leave.” His view of Detroit isn’t rosy. City neighborhoods lack grocery stores, bus service or street lights; calls to 911 take at least an hour to rouse a response. “Anyone there will tell you it’s awful, but this is what they deal with every day” he says. His images capture people managing to survive.

As a native of Detroit, Jordano says, “I was just more emotionally connected to the place than photographers who were just coming in and out, and then posting work that made the whole city look bad.” (more…)