Appropriation is the art of using already existing images and objects without much transformation of the image. The art of appropriation has played a significant role in the history of arts. In the arts of visuals, appropriation means to adopt, or borrow sample aspects made by humans targeting visual culture. It is notable that appropriation has caused a significant amount of damages on the world of arts, thus the controversy that has befell the art industry. It is argued that appropriation has paved way for values and such as criticism and other means of challenging the existing scenarios. For instance, appropriation has been used to criticize many forms of corruption and misappropriation in many democratic governments (Landes 10).
The act of borrowing art is also referred to as a two-dimensional equivalent of the object found. However, instead of incorporating the new found object into the collage, the postmodern appropriator repaints and redraws the drawing. The process of taking possession of another piece of art breaks the modernist reverence for uniqueness. Appropriation of art was a famous act since 1980s. Artists such as Sherrie Levine existed during that period of time. The artists talked about the act of appropriation as a theme of art. For instance, Sherrie Levine’s work on Walker Evans, she quotes the entire work on the drawing. She, in most cases played with the theme of “almost same” due to the challenges of originality, which draws attention to the factors such as power, gender, consumerism, and creativity (Hamilton 93).
Elaine Sturtevant also painted and portrayed replicas of famous drawings. For instance, she replicated Andy Warhol’s work of 1965. She trained herself through learning to reproduce the original artist’s own procedure. For example, in one instance when Warhol was questioned on his techniques of drawings, he answered simply “I don’t know. Ask Elaine.” This shows how appropriation art played a significant role in the promotion of visual arts. In the 1980s Richard Prince re-photographed adverts of Marlboro cigarettes and photo-journalism. Appropriation artists commented and touched on all aspects of society and culture. For instance, Joseph Kosuth appropriated photographs to touch on philosophy and epistemological concept. In 1990s artists still continued to produce and manufacture appropriation art and used them to address theories and issues that affected people socially. For example, Damian Loed used the cinema and film to address the theme of simulacrum (Landes 10).
Under the copyright law appropriation has raised controversies concerning its validity. For example, the United States has been litigious in this aspect. Several case-laws have emerged that examine the division between derivative and transformative works. Andy Warhol was subjected to a number of law-suits from photojournalists whose works he had appropriated and silk-screened. An example is Patricia Caulfield, a photographer who had taken a picture of flowers for a photography magazine. Any Warhol then took the photo and appropriated it. Patricia then sued Andy because of the act.
The notion of originality and authorship are the key issues when it comes to the aspect of appropriation. Authorship carries the responsibility of the creation of an author. However, the concept of appropriation is thought to support the perspective that authorship in arts is a mistaken notion. However, there should be rules and regulations that guide the act of appropriation. For instance, there should be copyright rules where no one can take and forge the work of other artists. The artists should have a limit on the extent they should go when using other author’s work.
Landes, William M. "Copyright, Borrowed Images and Appropriation Art: An Economic Approach." U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper 113 (2000). Print.
Hamilton, Marci A. "Appropriation Art and the Imminent Decline in Authorial Control Over Copyrighted Works." J. Copyright Soc'y USA 42 (1994): 93. Print.
The picture of the President of the United States afer being appropriated.
The picture of Bansky Katemoss as done by Andy Warfolf