Thursday, September 2, 2010

from the minds of others

While there must be an element of schadenfreude in watching the self-aggrandizing and over-hyped get taken down a peg, there's an interesting nugget buried inside the Guardian (UK)'s summary of new plagiarism allegations being leveled against blowhard and animal-cadaver-defiler Damien Hirst. First, the basic rundown:
While Hirst has previously faced accusations that works including his diamond skull came from the imagination of other artists, the new allegations include his "crucified sheep", medicine cabinets, spin paintings, spot paintings, installation of a ball on an air-jet, his anatomical figure and his cancer cell images.

Charles Thomson, the artist and co-founder of the Stuckists, a group campaigning for traditional artistry, collated the number of plagiarism claims relating to Hirst's work for the latest issue of the Jackdaw art magazine.
Now the money quote. Quoth Thompson:
"Hirst puts himself forward as a great artist, but a lot of his work exists only because other artists have come up with original ideas which he has stolen," said Thomson. "Hirst is a plagiarist in a way that would be totally unacceptable in science or literature."
Maybe he's just getting himself a bit overwrought by his own rhetoric, but the thing is, as copyright law runs now visual art is treated the same as literature now that (shock of all shocks) it's been warped and corrupted to protect the interests of well-heeled corporations with little to no interest in the actual creative process.

The point of this little jig is not to debate the originality or quality of Hirst (he's terrible) but instead to underline the point that intellectual property law is a god-awful hideous mess.

Just like Damien Hirst's body of work.

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