The Rogue Speaks:
I posted this last week, so many of you have already read it, and since this is "N" week, here it is again!!
While viewing an art exhibit and sale here in Brunswick recently, I was shocked to find a familiar subject displayed. I immediately knew that the subject was not an original idea of the artist. Over twelve years ago, one of my students brought to class a photo that he wanted to paint. After having explained to him the rules for copying the work of other artists, I allowed him to paint from the photo strictly as an exercise in class. I explained to him that due to copyright laws, he could never offer his painting for sale. It was the same subject of the painting which I saw recently.
Over the centuries, many aspiring artists have been seen in well-know galleries around the world, sitting in front of famous paintings, studying and copying them, not to sell, but to study the techniques of the artists and hopefully learn from them. Very few of those artists have actually tried to pass their copied work off as original, and those who did, never got far for obvious reasons.
ART PIRACY IS LIKE ANY OTHER THEFT--IT IS ILLEGAL!!
Still, some artists will keep trying to pass others' works off as their own originals. Over the years, I have been frequently asked to jury art into exhibits, and I think I can spot a copy pretty quickly. The artist who painted a close-up of a buffalo stampede, or a tiger, for example, was asked point-blank just how close she had gotten to those wild animals. She hemmed and hawed, and never really answered the question. Her work was not accepted into the exhibit.
Another artist who kept trying to display copied works, even after having been caught early on, was told that she could no longer enter her work into competitions unless she could prove that the subject matter was original. The work she copied? Straight out of art "how to" books!
Some artists think that they will never be caught. Don't count on it, ever! Someone, somewhere, sometime, will recognize the piece, no matter how obscure it might be. While glancing through art for sale on Overstock.com one day, a painting caught my eye. It was a lovely piece, painted by a skilled artist, but the subject and composition looked very familiar to me. A copy of that piece had been offered for sale by a Sunday painter, a ham-fisted artist who was a new member of our guild. The board of directors of the guild was informed, and soon discovered that this artist was making a habit of copying the work of others. I had never been on Overstock.com's art space, and it was by shear accident that I found that piece.
Obviously it is not only in the art world that plagiarism is a NO NO. Life is filled with examples of dishonesty and theft. We read about it every day. There have been unscrupulous bloggers who have stolen articles from others' blogs and posted them as their own, and this very morning I read an article in our paper regarding a minister who had been taking his sermons off the internet without giving credit to the original minister who wrote them. What happened? That stealing fellow was promptly fired! I guess he had forgotten one of the commandments by which he supposedly lived.
No matter which of the muses you follow, stay true to the concept of honesty in your life. Avoid the embarrassment of being eventually found out as a fraud and a cheat. It can happen!!
This post, "NO NO!!!" is in honor of the letter "N" for Jenny's AlphabeThursday. It wasn't until I went to Jenny's site to link up that I realized that this week's letter is "M" but fortunately, I DID write an "M" post, which I did link up. So you knew already that I'm a ditz--oh, well!
p.s. Once again, Blogger is stopping me from adding photos to my blog, so please look in my right sidebar for an example of a famous painting that has been copied many times!!!!