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Archive for the 'Legal' Category

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Jenny Saville Album Art Censored


While Journal For Plague Lovers, the newest release by Welsh band, Manic Street Preachers, may still be hitting the shelves of British supermarkets, the album’s artwork won’t. Large chains including Sainsburys and Tesco will sell the CD in a plain white slipcase, due to “inappropriate” cover art painted by notable British painter, Jenny Saville (who also contributed art to the band’s 1994 album,The Holy Bible, and has exhibited with Gagosian and Saatchi). Apparently Stare, which was painted by Saville in 2005, and depicts a bruised boy, has been deemed too offensive and violent to be placed alongside tabloids and candybars. It’s Just another tale of the power large corporate retailers have over the recording industry, as it was ultimately the decision of Columbia Records to placate them and deliver the album with a Smell the Glove treatment.

Easily the most humorous anecdote to surface from this already absurd situation comes to us from Peter Black, the Liberal Democrats’ health spokesman in Wales, who said “I would be disturbed if supermarkets were deliberately acting in that way with regard to pictures of children with disfigurement. The one thing we need to do is allow people who are disfigured to live as normal a life as possible.” (via Telegraph) Bold words indeed…File this one under ridiculous.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Europe, Legal, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Controversy Over Cohen’s Women at Sotheby’s

Edvard Munch’s Madonna is on display at Sotheby’s NY, as part of Women: An Exhibition of Paintings & Sculptures On Loan from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Collection.

Modern Art Obsessions has posted some criticism of Sotheby’s exhibition of a selection of billionaire, Steven Cohens’ private collection. Cohen now owns almost 6% of the auction house, and while Sotheby’s has stated none of the 20 works are for sale, concerns over possible nepotism and market manipulation have emerged. Read MAO’s thoughts here and Lindsay Pollock’s report for Bloomberg here.

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Auction, Legal, Market Talk, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Friday, March 27th, 2009

A Moment of Clarity – Defending Danziger

Fairey and Garcia’s Obama images at Danziger Projects. Image: Sara Krulwich, The New York Times.

A number of stories have surfaced this week concerning wire photographer, Mannie Garcia’s, image of President Obama, which served as the basis for Shepard Fairey’s Obama Portrait. More than once we have read articles that accuse one NY gallery of seeking to profit from the media frenzy surrounding Fairey by selling prints of the photo for $1,200.  

On his own site this week, Fairey said, “The Garcia photo is now more famous and valuable than it ever would have been prior to the creation of my poster. With this factor in mind, it is not surprising, that a gallery in NYC is now (our emphasis) selling the Garcia photo for $1,200 each.”  In the last day Fairey’s statement has been reposted by several online sources, ranging from larger media outlets like The Huffington Post, to numerous smaller blogs.

In an article published in The New York Times, Noam Cohen states the following about the image in question: “Taken by Mannie Garcia while on assignment for The Associated Press in 2006, the picture is now (our emphasis) on sale at a Chelsea gallery in a limited edition of 200. The prints are going for $1,200 a piece, and at least one has been purchased by a fine-arts museum.”

A moment of clarity – The gallery in question, Danziger Projects, was actually the first to attribute Fairey’s portrait to Garcia, as they were researching a photography exhibition of media images covering the rise of Obama and his campaign. That exhibit, Can & Did, was on display at the gallery this past Jan. 20 – Feb. 28. To be clear, the availability of Garcia prints via Danziger predates the recent firestorm of press surrounding Fairey’s appropriation of it. While TAC firmly supports Fairey, his art and his legal battle with AP, it seems irresponsible to suggest that he himself is now the one being co-opted for financial gain. 

Hat’s off to Charlie Finch. Back in February he reflected on the situation for ArtNet, explaining, that it was in fact Danziger’s inquiries which led the Associated Press to claim rights to the image. Finch noted that the gallerist had already sold 29 copies of the print edition – before, not after countless media outlets began to report the controversy. In short, Danziger’s due diligence in crediting a photograph which appeared at his gallery sparked the current AP-Fairey legal battle and exponential rise in the image’s notoriety. That it would all come full circle and lead to accusatory fingers pointing towards his gallery is grossly misinformed and paints a story that is at its best inacurate, and at its worst defamatory. 

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Legal, Photography, Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Bill Would Ban Museum Deaccessioning


The New York Times reports that a new bill introduced to the New York State Senate on Tuesday would prohibit museums from selling off works of art to cover operating costs.  The bill was penned by Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky in collaboration with the New York Sate Board of Regents and Museum Association of New York, and comes in response to recent controversy over the deaccessioning of art by at least two major NY institutions – The National Academy, which did sell two Hudson River School paintings to help meet operating costs, and Brandies University, who announced plans to close its Rose Art Museum and sell off its collection. If passed into law, proceeds from the sale of works of art could only be used for the acquisition of new works or the preservation of an existing collection.

Read a copy of the bill here

Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Legal, Politics | 1 Comment »


Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Fairey Fires Back – Sues AP

Shepard Fairey was arraigned on public vandalism charges in Boston District Court, Monday, Feb. 9th. Image: Associated Press.

The Shepard Fairey media frenzy continues. Last Wednesday, the Associated Press issued a statement accusing Fairey of copyright infringement for appropriating one of their photos to create his famous Obama images. Then, on Friday evening, Fairey was arrested on two outstanding vandalism warrants, as he arrived to the opening night celebration of his museum survey at the Boston ICA.

While the AP has not officially filed suit against the artist, they have threatened legal action if not compensated and properly credited for the photograph in question,  Now, Fairey is fighting back with his own lawsuit, filed in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court on Monday, Feb. 9th.  The artist is aiming to clear his name through legal recognition that he did not violate any copyright laws and operated within the accepted confines of fair use by altering the original photo “for a highly transformative purpose…with new meaning, new expression and new messages.” Full transcript here

In response to Fairey’s filing, the AP issued yet another press release yesterday, stating:

“The Associated Press is disappointed by the surprise filing by Shepard Fairey and his company, and by Mr. Fairey’s failure to recognize the rights of photographers in their works. AP was in the middle of settlement discussions with Mr. Fairey’s attorney last week in order to resolve this amicably…At Mr. Fairey’s attorney’s request, we agreed AP would not pursue legal action while in these discussions. Despite an agreement to continue these discussions on Friday, Mr. Fairey’s attorney avoided contact, nor did he respond to an invitation to make contact over the weekend. Instead, he chose to file on Monday morning, without any notice to AP.

AP believes it is crucial to protect photographers, who are creators and artists.”

Clearly, Fairey’s lawsuit seems to be a preemtive strike against AP. Will the matter be settled amicably, or instigate AP to move forward with legal action of their own? Stay tuned….

More here:


Posted by ATARMS | Filed in Artist Talk, Legal, Photography, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »