Who Owns Culture cont.

Digital cameras are changing the way we live.  The Pope dies and what do you see?  Hundreds of people holding up their digital cameras and taking pictures of the body.  Instant info.  I went to Chelsea today, hit up 3 galleries, and everyone was taking pictures of the art work.  Who owns culture? 

Is it ok for me to take pictures of new art that has just been purchased by a collector or a museum?  I now own a digital copy of that picture.  If I use it on a card, or in my blog, should I be paying the artist something for that right or should I be paying the new owner or the gallery if they haven’t sold the piece yet?  Who owns the culture? 

Dsc00274 I went to see the Damien Hirst exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery.  Prolific is an understatement for this artist.  He began with dot paintings that were simple and fun.  Then he moved into medical creations.   He is obsessed with death, drugs and the medical world.  Now he has moved into painting.  The paintings sold out ranging from $250k to $2M.  They are incredible but very disturbing.   The painting on the left shows the deterioration of a woman on drugs.  Haunting.  Dsc00279_1

Check out the painting of an autopsy room.  Looks like a picture right?  Would you like to have this hanging in your living room for the cool price of $2M.   His work is impressive to say the least. 

Dsc00281_1 I also headed into Mary Boone GalleryEric Fischl has a group of new paintings.  He is an incredible artist.  He does paintings, drawings, sculpture.  His paintings are going for $450-500K.  Worth it.  They are only going up in value.  Very sexually oriented, as his last paintings were but unbelievable crisp images. 

Dsc00285 Lastly, I went over to Margaret Thatcher Projects.  I really like Margaret and want to buy something from her.  Markus Linnenbrink is opening there tomorrow.  His work is colorful to say the least.  He does drip paintings with oils, heavily layered ceramic paintings that he puts holes in to see the layers, striped paintings covered in a resin, photos covered with colors and resin.  Prolific guy.  His career is starting to really take off. 

Dsc00287_1A fun day in the world…but as I took these digital images, I wondered, who owns the Culture?


Comments (Archived):

  1. Ellen

    Someone had written that you had been a journalist so you know legally who owns those images of art work. i found out the hard way. Legally, you cannot make an image for resale of a painting. I had copied an image of a painting to sell at a charity auction. Totally illegal. Whomever owns the painting owns the image. Is it legal to make a copy for your Christmas cards? I am sure it must be, but should it be? I am not so sure? Where will the lines be drawn?

    If a newspaper takes your picture, the newspaper owns that image and it cannot be used by other newspapers without payment to the first newspaper. If the associated press takes your picture, they can sell it to anyone for a fee. Do I have a say as to where my image will end up. If it is in the associated press’s files- no. I could end up in the pages of Hustler just as easy as on the pages of the WSJ. But that is print journalism. What about online journalism? Do the same laws hold true?

  2. ellen

    Could you tell me what exactly Damien Hirst’s The Pharmacy was? I am such a hick, and just read about it being some kind of restaurant. Was it an installation?

  3. Antonio ortuño

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    Thank you very much