"Plagiarized" Chris Foss painting sells for $5.7m

I’m not an art scholar, but isn’t that a description of Warhol did?


How much does a pair of arty bollocks go for at Sotheby’s?


Yes, ostensibly. Me, I think someone bought this as an investment hoping someone else will pay more for it later on.
Art? If you have to know that an obscure book cover was the original, then read the artists explanation for why he did it, and then take the artists word that its transformative because, after all, the original is completely unknown and its not part of the new work, then you’re really just taking it on faith that its art because the artist said it is.

This guy is an artist, a con artist.

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Most of Warhol’s changes have the virtue of being visible to the human eye.

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Depends. Are they suspended in formaldehyle?

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I’m not going to defend Warhol, but he put a can of soup on a frame, and a can of campbell’s soup is something that is known to just about everybody, the re-contextualization is obvious because the original is well known, and presented in a different context. framed in an art gallery vs in a shelf among other products in a store.
Here, he took a painting (which was the cover of a relatively obscure book) and presented it as a painting. I’ve read this book but I hadn’t seen this cover, I have no original context for the image. Now if he had taken the cover to Jurassic park which is iconic (It helps that its the same as the movie), and “re-contextualized it”, he’d probably have a hard time getting people to buy into it as a transformation of the original work.

Tachin1, that’s just one Warhol work. He also had series in which he used much more anonymous photographs of car wrecks.

You’re getting confused.

Those were arty bullocks.

As a near starving artist person, this just pisses me off. What the market decides is profitable just has no rhyme or reason.
How can Shephard Fairy can get his bits sued off by the AP but this guy can claim fair use? Not saying I don’t think Fairy was in the wrong, but watching the market cheerfully prop up this douche to the tune of FIVE MILLION DOLLARS…
I should have eaten breakfast before this. Gah!


have you seen a Brown IRL?

you are getting a bit worked up about one painting…

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in the context of 1993, they shook up contemporary art.

they changed the game. I don’t rate most of his work though.

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Did the original Foss work ever get displayed as a painting? Or was it only ever used as a book cover? Because in that case, there is some (minor) recontextualization, from book cover to painting. It’s still bullshit, but you can’t say there is NO recontextualization. I would argue that recontextualization alone isn’t really enough to make art interesting (to me), but art is weird.

If you’re ever frustrated when someone looks at modern art and dismisses it out of hand, or assumes that the artist and the business are a conspiracy of pretentious idiots and fraudsters, just remember that people like Brown are why.

Well, people like Brown, and people who buy into that kind of bullshit and actually pay 5.7 million dollars for an enlarged, slightly colour tweaked copy of a book cover.

I mean, I get what you’re saying, but I think this is a degree-not-kind difference–and even then, it’s not much of a degree. I’m thinking of the various Marilyn Monroe prints, for example–especially in the Marilyn Diptych. Color change, resizing, and recontextualization. Looking at the other paintings in the io9 article, I think the Foss copy is more like the original work than usual, but it’s still different.

Would you have a different reaction to the Brown painting if it had consisted of two copies side by side?

Hey I’m not defending Warhol, just pointing out how pointless this painting is and by extension, the “Art world®”

And I’m not attacking Warhol. I’m just saying that the soup can series isn’t the Warhol work that is most relevant as a comparison to this situation. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the “art world” isn’t monolithic.

kinda like hearing a tune on the radio, not liking it, then concluding all music is pointless.


Because this guy got permission first, presumably. Fairy didn’t. This guy also was quite honest about where the image came from. Fairy wasn’t.

Also, I was under the impression that despite it all, Fairy is actually wildly successful still, isn’t he?

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I thought about this for just a moment but didn’t think the distinction was worth making, its a painting, commissioned for a book cover. And see, here’s my point, right now, for us, whether the fact that the original painting was ever put up for display is “Schrodinger’s cat”, therefore the art value proposition of this new painting is also in a weird state of flux, which only highlights the absurdity of placing the value of the transformation in something NOT in the painting. :smile:

I see no difference between Shepard Fairey and Todd Goldman.


“Art world”, in quotes, meaning… I even included a ®, you know the little “Registered” symbol to as a subtle hint that I’m not talking about art, artists or artistic communities, and that… oh, you get it…