This N That: Keep In The Know With Photography News
How The Grinch Stole Creative Property
Photographer Kim Durham has recently come under scrutiny for her use of Dr. Seuss’ famous Grinch in her recent Christmas-themed kids’ photoshoot. Aptly named ‘Grinchmas’, the photo series captures the reactions of children whose expectations of Santa Claus are instead replaced with the appearance of the hairy, green, beloved character.
With the online circulation of the photoshoots, Dr. Seuss Enterprises contacted Durham to threaten legal action against the photographer for the use of the character for commercial gain. In an email sent to her, the company order the immediate removal and destruction of all promotional materials and photographs for the ‘Grinchmas’ photoshoots, as well a cancellation of any scheduled media appearances, interviews, or future photography sessions.
Despite the apparent harmlessness of the use of such a renowned and well-known character, this particular case shows the strictness of copyright laws and the needs for permissions. Something as simple as donning a Grinch mask and scaring a few children on camera is still dangerous territory in the eyes of the law. Where do we draw the line?
Views On The North River Re-Circulates Work of Victorian Photographer
An incredibly rare album of 1870 photographs has been sold for auction in Gloucestershire, England, thus bringing attention to the work of Victorian-era Scottish photographer and traveler, John Thomson. Thomson’s Views On The North River, which is compiled of fourteen sepia images from 19th century China, was originally published in Hong Kong in 1870.
The album was sold for £48,000 at auction, more than doubling its estimated £20,000 value. With only a handful of copies in existence, Views On The North River is a rare preservation of old Victorian photography. There are copies held in the National Library of Scotland, the Hong Kong University Library, and in the Watson Collection at Cornell University. The two other copies are privately owned.
Highway 61 Brought Back into Public View by Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange’s new book entitled Highway 61 captures the stretch of road that connects the Canadian border to Louisiana. Paying homage to Bob Dylan and his song, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, from his album of the same name, Lange’s book is made up of photographs of her travels across the highway over a number of years.
Instead of Dylan’s imagining of a place of escape, murder, and war-mongering, Lange’s book captures the people of Highway 61 through a black and white lens that seems more akin to early photography of America. Her photographs have been likened to the early work of Robert Frank.
Having studied art and photography in Minnesota, Lange is no stranger to being behind the camera lens. Highway 61 is her third book after 50 Photographs, published in 2008, and In Mexico, released in 2010. Lange will be speaking at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, this Frida and a solo exhibition of Highway 61 will open November 21st at Howard Greenberg Gallery.
You can purchase Jessica Lange’s book here
Banksy’s Hype Train Continues
World-famous street artist Banksy is once again in headlines this week. Not only has his massive painting, Devolved Parliament (2009), been sold for a whopping $12.2 million at the Sotheby’s auction in London, but the artist has also recently been in a legal dispute with a greeting card company over the unauthorized use of his Trademark.
Devolved Parliament, which was originally estimated to be sold for around $2.47 million, has been the talk of the art world over past few weeks. The highly anticipated auction in London is also where the reclusive artist gained widespread recognition at this time last year as his work Girl With Balloon (2006) sold for $1.28 million and then shredded itself as soon as the hammer came down.
With regards to Banksy’s legal disputes, a greeting card company has sought to take control off the artist’s trademark since he hasn’t been using it himself. As a result Banksy has been forced into the merchandising market, taking his art directly to the people with a new online store – Gross Domestic Product. Many of the items that Banksy sells reference the growing migrant crisis, and for good cause. The online store raises money to go towards replacing the migrant rescue boat confiscated by Italian authorities.
With all the hype surrounding him, it is amazing that Banksy maintains his mysterious persona despite his exposure in the limelight.
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