A picture can be worth a thousand words, and save me the time of typing them up.

The first image is from Wikiart’s section on Francois Morellet, below.

Click to visit site.

And the second image is from Damien Hirst’s own site:

Click to visit site.

Borrowing ideas wholesale is radical!

11 replies on “Radical New Derivative Redundancy

  1. I don’t recall covering Concretism in my art history classes or history of graphic design classes, but after looking it up the first painter looks legit and the second one is obviously a wannabe. In fact, it’s tough to figure out if there’s anything that the second painter is actually trying achieve – other than some sort of success by association? Dunno. Just another reason why I dislike most modern art.

    When I went through design school, we were encouraged by our instructors to keep an art morgue of ideas. Some of my fellow students took it a little more literal than others, and actually copied artwork from established artists and handed it in as their own. I knew this because in several cases I had seen the exact same image in art books kept in our school library. It made me very angry that they received any credit at all for stealing the ideas of others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There’s a world of difference between keeping a body of ideas, and copying them outright. Full-on plagiarism, however, is considered a legitimate art technique if it is a statement about how our species isn’t capable of anything new: imaginitive impostence. Sherrie Levine made a career of rephotographing Walker Evan’s photos, and exhibiting them as her own original creations. It was all about the new context for the same exact images. Context and ideas have replaced the “visual” in “visual art”.

      I don’t buy any of that for a second except as props for ideas or arguments about art — many of which are thoroughly bankrupt — which we may or many not find worthy of entertaining. To the degree it’s art at all, it’s not my cup of tea, and isn’t visual art.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I totally agree with your assessment.

        There’s also been another artist wannabe that’s done the same thing as Sherrie Levine, but I can’t for the life of me remember his name. He appears in the news media on slow days, and has gotten sued many times for using imagery from other artists and turning tidy profits for doing so. Richard Prince, maybe?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Bleah….Sorry I don’t have the ability to post a photo of Snoopy to illustrate the word. I guess that would be appropriating someone else’s work to make a point about appropriating someone else’s work?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We’re not supposed to know he borrowed that design. Hirst’s technique was to steal from others, and he has explicitly admitted it, and elaborated on it as a method he learned at Goldsmith’s art college. He said, precisely, “all my ideas are stolen”. I tracked down the video. His argument is that it’s all about what you do with it. So, 100% stolen ideas, and almost everything made by other people.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. At first glance of any Hirst-like object, I get angry. “That’s not art!” I silently scream.
    But then I remind myself that I don’t get mad at pop music or pro sports, which when you step back are pretty much the same as the fine art biz: Just millionaires and billionaires moving cash around among themselves. I just ignore them.
    Ignoring those activities is easy because I’ve never fancied myself an entertainer, but with art it’s different, it’s personal. I need to take some deep breaths and say, “It’s not my money.” a couple of times to be able to put Hirst et all out of my mind.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Howard:

      Great to hear from you, as always. And I think you’re basically right about billionaires moving money around among themselves. And when stupid amounts of money are spent on dot paintings, or whatever inanity, we can remind ourselves that it isn’t our money being spent. Ah, but it is, because it’s our money we didn’t get, and that’s because the art world has been converted into a winner-take-all market. I read an article about how back in the 60’s, at the big international exhibits, countries would submit dozens of artists. Now they each put forth just one to three. So, in comparison, 90% less artists would make a living and get exposure in today’s market as compared to when I was born. I gather it’s easier and more profitable to just deal with a handful of artists who get astronomical sums, than hundreds who have great careers, or thousands who make a solid living. If you are not among the chosen few, then you make as much or less than if you worked at McDonalds, assuming you have a career at all. Everyone else gets hammered into oblivion, including yours truly.

      So, when one of Hirst’s thousands of formulaic, empty, and derivative dot paintings sells for a million dollars, that’s one successful artist’s lifetime career sacrificed. That series alone serves to crush tens of thousands of artists who can’t hope compete in the marketplace. They never get a chance to develop and produce their work, because they have to take on an unrelated daytime job, and they have to commute, and there’s little time left to make work as a thankless hobby.

      If the art world were at all fair, there would be as many artists with healthy careers as there are dentists. And then what we get is shitty, soulless, appropriation art by someone who not only doesn’t make it himself, but has openly admitted that he stole all his ideas.

      I keep going because I’m driven to, and with a hope that one day I might make as much from it as working at McDonalds.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I thought of that, the money being indirectly and potentially ours, too. But after I posted the reply. And I said I didn’t want to get angry, thinking about it makes me angry.
        I don’t think the current free market system is a good one. It’s more a celebrity show than a talent fair and a sports-like tournament or lottery event with very few winners and many many losers.
        Call me an art socialist, but I think It would be good if there was a sales tax on art objects, (a very progressive one and only kicking at 2x the average sale of an art work on first and subsequent sales) that is distributed equally to all living and or working artists.
        It wouldn’t be much money per artist, but it might be enough for some of them to have to work one less minimum-wage part-time job and others not to have to take every piece-o-sh*t commission that comes along just to make ends meet, leaving them more time for more art-making.
        As a possible side effect to that, wouldn’t there be a lot more art out there for folks to appreciate and even acquire? Maybe, even, they’d decide that copied dots are not the best choice for something nice to go above the couch and instead buy some original, thought-provoking, well-executed work?

        Liked by 3 people

  4. ::sigh:: As usual, I “officially” don’t know enough about visual art to say much about that Hirst thing but I feel deeply the disgust it causes in me. The older I get the more often 2 words are sufficient to express it. I’d say them on my own site(s) but I’m a guest here so I’ll resist the urge. Troubling but illuminating post. I’m glad it popped up in my Reader. 👏🤗👏

    Liked by 2 people

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