Sunday, January 27, 2008


It has been a joy to collage. The imagery has been collected for quite some time with nothing done because I had a big painting project. And the painting had a very singular, committed idea, whereas this process in contrast feels almost like instant gratification.

I wanted to be able to use contemporary figures, not just women of Hollywood history. I've always thought Lindsay was beautiful and for some reason I care about her plight, much more than her girlfriends Paris and Britney. But maybe I'll use them too.

Something about the black around the head reminds me of a burqa, except of course we get to see her face.


Anonymous said...

Eva....As a collage artist myself, I've been struggling with the issue of copyright. I've done a bit of research, and I came across the following site that discusses, in depth, copyright law in relation to collage artists:
As I admire your collage work and notice that you sometimes use images of celebrities, I was interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.....Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi -

This is just my personal take, but I think that if you went into the area of collage, you crossed a line already. You already took a stand. Because there is really no way you cannot use something made or owned by someone else - unless everything you make is nature-based somehow or shot all your own pictures etc.

Even if you are using found train tickets, making something similar to Kurt Schwitters, someone designed the ticket.

I have never thought about it twice. Andy did it all before me, so I have no problems using his work. I've told this story before, but I once received an anonymous call from someone clearly upset that I used Andy's Flowers in a piece published in a magazine. But he already ripped off someone else. What happens, that's what I'd like to know - because that Flowers is a part of art history now, no matter who did what originally. I mean it made it to that level, despite the lawyers moving in on it.

Richard Prince sells his work for megabucks and it is based on images we see all the time in advertising. If he's isn't sweating it, I see no reason to. And he's making a dime, something most collage artists are not!

I had an art lawyer come on Artstar Radio and he told me that when I used a Warhol in my work, it was illegal. He also said that what Warhol did was illegal. But if those guys aren't afraid, then why should I be. Of course the difference is - they've all got lawyers. But the other big difference is that they're making money!

... What about Revolution No. 9? Doesn't it use all kinds of found sound? It's the same thing.

I'd be curious to hear what you are struggling with, if it is anything in particular.

As to Lindsay Lohan, she's got much bigger issues than me to worry about, as regards how people are using her image....

Years ago my friend told me that good art was like a crime. There's something to that, I suppose. I do know what it's like to find your own image out there, to stumble upon it in a surprise.


ps... Nancy Baker wrote about this in her blog Tireshop recently...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply Eva.

I use images from just about everywhere, and have done so for years, without a thought about copyright law. I only stumbled on this issue recently, as I came across the site that I referred to in my previous post. After reading the information therein, I began to struggle with this issue and, I think a bit of paranoia overtook me...although I don't know why, its not like I have made any money off of any one else's images!

I thought about Richard Prince, and his photographs of photographs or rephotographs, and that seems to me to be an obvious violation of copyright law, however, as you said, the heavy hitters in the art world are on an altogether different playing field.

I heard something recently that if musicians composing a new piece use only five notes from a previous piece, they may be liable for copyright infringement.

At any rate, I admire your knowledge about art, as well as your work, and I thought it would be interesting to hear your views on the subject.

I'll check out Nancy Baker's blog, and by the way, I'd be curious to hear what your response was when you stumbled upon your own image out there.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cynthia,

I am not sure where the line in music is drawn - I do know that George Harrison was sued for My Sweet Lord supposedly sounding like He's So Fine. After that, he refused to even listen to music around the house so that he would not pick up anything. (I personally think the two songs are very different.)

But nowadays you could just say you sampled it. That's a phrase I hear from a lot of artists - "I sampled it." If I had to tell the source of every single collaged bit, I am not sure how that would feel. Because some of it is a mystery I either like to keep or have the viewer figure out.

Maybe part of the problem is that so many people don't want to give any credit and don't understand the notion. They download music for free.

Which brings me to my own stuff. People have used my collages as wallpaper for their sites and also as their identity or signature on myspace etc. I love it as long as I get credit, but no one has ever come up with that idea on their own! I have to remind them that these works were made by a living artist who could use a break today. I get no cash; I may as well get credit! But some kids have almost acted offended when I wanted that.

It's also weird to come across your own self image online. But this comes with participating in life and in art.