(PCM) You may be curious to learn just how a “plagiarized” copy of a painting could ever net for 5.7 million dollars! That appears to be the case that we see here in which an incredibly similar copy of a Chris Foss painting “Nemo’s Castle”, which was featured as the cover for Isaac Asimov’s novel Stars Like Dust titled “Ornamental Dispair” by artist Glenn Brown recently sold at auction for that exact price.
The story was first featured on io9.com by author Charlie Jane Anders and he has quoted artist Glenn Brown as saying “The Foss paintings never look like my versions of them. Mine are always played around with. The colors are altered, the cities were redrawn and I was always inventing things to increase their intensity right from the start. … I never want to lose that notion of appropriation—people say to me, sooner or later you’ll stop copying other artists and you’ll make work of your own, but it’s never been my point to try to do that, because I never thought you ever could. The work is always going to be based on something, and I wanted to make the relationship with art history as obvious as possible.”
The story looks at the bigger issue of copyright laws and how much freedom an artist is allowed to have with a re-contextualization scenario. Brown has found himself in hot water in the past over another claim from Foss over the similarities between their work, but sources claim the suit was settled out of court and Foss did receive a cut of the profits.
Foss is not the only artist that Brown has been accused of “borrowing” ideas from in the science fiction book world. Artists such as Robert Anthony and John Martin have also been victim to Brown’s famous “re-contextualization”.
Brown is not exactly copying the images directly, he is adding more color, enlarging them, changing the placement of certain objects and changing their overall context.
i09.com did clafify a few issues earlier with the particular case, as they corrected themselves on the intial story claiming that Brown sold this particular painting “Ornamental Disrepair” back in 2002 and will currently not see a penny of the 5.7 million that it has currently sold for at auction. Brown hasn’t been copying science-fiction book covers in the past decade, focusing more on doing weird remixes of classical paintings. Seems as if he has straightend out the error of his ways in the past. It does turn out however that Foss gave Brown permission to remix his work, however at the time he was busy with other project and did not pay too much attention to what he was agreeing. He only began to pay attention when Brown began becoming noticed by the fine art world and was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize.
Brown claims that his art and paintings are a re-imagining and compares them to that of a DJ remixing a song that is not their own. Do you agree?