When I was printing this poster I had a big scab on my knee, so I picked it off and let blood drip into the red ink to make it like kiss did with their comic book. I don't know if I ever told Jeff that?
When I am doing corporate work and they want photo-based images I insist that the company provide them and have them state that in the contract. Or, I'll get them to foot the bill for a proper photo shoot or whatever.
I tended to use a lot of stuff from old porn mags, european or asian magazines, stuff like that...sources that are basically 'non-mainstream' to begin with.
things like dover and old clip books were created for the INTENTION of use by the holder. technically, the folks who actually drew that stuff should get money from (if all were fair), guy companies snatched their copyrights (by hook or by crook) and put them out as raw source materials. it's so pervasive that most of the stuff dover sells you can also be found int the collections published by dozens of other companies. it's intentional, and usually there is a statement on the copyright page saying so (go look).
as for other found imagery (like you old midol ad in life magazine, say) that's a bit dicier. the people who control that image are 1) the photgrapher, 2) the company paying for the ad reproduction, and 3) the agency of contract. but usually, in these old magazines, the publishers will take over copyright control because they actually PRINTED it (and evrybody else is lost in obscurity). don't fuck with life magazine, not even the ads in them. go get a copy of something obscure, like sepia. then again, midol is a rather well-known product, and it could be possible that their ad was famous enough that it became part of the product's identity. stay away from it. become knowledgable about the history of all this stuff and you will be able to spot dangerous stuff with greater ease.
then, there's the photographer/agency stuff. i guyi knew swiped an old photo of a rockabilly dude from a rolling stone magazine and put it on a hang tag for some blue jeans. real stupid. i would have stuck to my 3 rules, and it would have worked out fine, but he went and used it straight across. so, the blue jean company gets a call from the original photographer who took the shot (back in the 1950's - guy must have been 80 years old). the jeans company went nova and threatened my friend with extinction, etc. my friend is a very level headed guy, and didn't panic and said, 'i'll handle this, give me the guy's phone number.' (it's always smart to get the lawyers out of the picture as much as possible.) my friend called the guy up and all he wanted was about $300 for usage. that's all. just a little cash and recognition for his creative work. people can be reasonable if you keep the lawyers at bay.
much appreciated wisdom.
i think kinko's was actually sued by disney for reproducing images of their characters as well.
so what then about these books of compiled images (dover), obviously the below still applies, but im assuming since monies were never paid to the the publisher, a licensing fee of some sort would technically be in order right?
when i used to 'teach', i used to talk about my "three rules of appropriation". i'll present them to you free of charge. (all other who read this are violating my copyright and are subject lawsuits and eventual brainwashing unless you send $29.95 to the above address.):
rule one: TAKE OBSCURELY
don't steal mickey mouse. don't take from playboy, time/warner, national geographic, or rolls royce. they all have lawyers and folk whose job it is to find you and sue you. disney once sued a small mom and pop daycare in seattle for painting disney figures on the walls of the playroom. they had to paint them out and pay a huge fine. i think they went under.
rule two: ALTER SIGNIFICANTLY
in other words, fuck it up so nobody recognizes it. don't take mickey mouse, take his eyeball. and add some flies. redraw it and apply it to george w.'s mealy face. nobody will spot it, not even walt's ghost. but we'll still somehow realise what it means, and where it came from.
rule three: USE APPROPRIATELY
if i'm designing a rcord cover for the rolling stones, i'm not going to put a picture of mickey mouse on it. what, do i look stupid? but if i'm doing a punk poster that's hung on 25 telephone poles in the u-district in seattle, yeah, i steal mickey. try and catch me, fuckers.
of course, appropriation is not about copycatting, it's about re-interpretation. it's one thing to take an iconographic image and re-introduce it with a whole new meaning in a strange inappropriate cultural context, it's another to slop it on a t-shirt and sell it to suckers. use yer fuck'n head.
also, whats happens copyright wise when a compiled book of clip images passes hands from the original purchaser to another. technically, would they need to pay a seperate licensing fee for use of the images?
so, whats the deal with actual "found" images vs. images compiled for the sole purpose of use by designers (like the dover books)? say , for instance, i have a mid-50s copy of LIFE magazine, and wanted to use an image that was a part of a midol ad or something. does the copyright expire on this stuff eventually. how much research should go into using that type of stuff before hand? i dont like the idea of stealing anyone elses work in any way, shape or form. what do you suggest?
when i said 'chuck', i meant charles spencer anderson. when i said 'corporation' i did not mean target. that was all done by sharon werner (well, it used to be before they dumped freelancers and started faking it in-house. boy, you sure can see the differenc. sharon used to work for duffy after chuck left). the corporation i mentioned was (i think it's ok to say this) old navy (aka the gap). when i say 'clip art', i mean a whole buncha different things. actual clip art was designed to be used first, by paying usage by actual purchase of lead cuts by letterpress printers, then later as collections either subscribed to or purchased in 'book' form as copyright free images to utilize as you see fit (like dover. usage is covered by the book purchase price.) that material is pretty much free turf. however with digital processes, those copyrights are again in limbo and is being controled by whomever has the balls to grab. microsoft actually owns the digital copyright of the mona lisa. if you use that image and it passes through a digital phase anywhere along your process, you technically violate microsoft's copyright. however, if i use it in a design and it never goes through a computer (say i use a stat camera instead to make plates and film) i bypass microsoft's copyright. pretty screwy, huh?
so, the wonderful world of found imagery is a minefield of violation, theft, and self-expression. i've dealt in this territory all my life and done well, been careful, and never had any serious problems. other guys i know have gotten nailed bad. you gotta know what yer doing.
but in the world of rock posters, it's such an esoteric niche area, that all sorts of things go safely ignored. but don't try to apply underground rules to mainstream clients - you'll find big trouble. i can relate some juicy stories in that area.
I've pretty much ripped off a million clip art images...but I 've
always duped myself that by re-drawing and 'deconstructing' them I
not completely fucked. These days tho i pretty much start it all from scratch...amazing I can actually do it if I try.
But you know, it's all 'clip art' more or less. Even Rubens was just copying from a model or using a camera lucida...and I wonder if we go back to Altamira and say
Hey Ug..you gotta big hand, let me use it for an outline...well,hell that's clip art too..I think pretty much if you take the clip art and do something refreshing with it, then you are ok.
but I am probably wrong
Got it. Very well said.
In my younger, stupider days I used a fair amount of stuff from Craphound. I guess I wasn't exactly clear on what the deal was. Regrettably, I didn't think some things through... Anyway, I remember meeting Sean for the first time in person at the NW poster show in Portland (we'd talked on the phone a lot back then) and I pointed out that some images on my posters had come from his magazine. He chuckled and said he thought it was great. He may feel very differently about that and me now, however. When It dawned on me (duh!) that I was using stuff that you and others were contributing in order to make posters that I called my own, well, I stopped. I never go there anymore.
In a purely sociological-experiment-kinda-way I'd love to see the chaos that would ensue if all copyrights were abolished. Clear the boards, let's see what happens. Sounds like your stance on copyrights differs a bit from Sean's? And possibly the differing stances on copyrights is the source of friction between Chuck and Sean. I guess I lean more towards Sean's perspective (but it's a sticky issue). I don't see Chuck as a villain but I always felt like, "hey, wait a minute, you can't do that - those should stay available for me steal from the original artists who are less likely to realize they've been stolen than you." Ha ha.
one final cosmic design joke. chuck has had such horrible experiences being ripped off by corporate whores (this is not other designers or folks utilizing his clip - that he doesn't much care about) that he's gone and done the unthinkable.
he recently went court to protect his STYLE from a corporation trying to steal it (yes, STEAL his STYLE as corporate id. they readily admitted it and laughed at him - IN SWORN VIDEO DEPOSITIONS! they spent literally years trying to deep-pockets him, but chuck stuck it out - what else could he do? he finally won, but by then the corporation had already exhausted his style for something like ten years. he broke even on the lawyer fees, and lost years of billable hours.
so he went onto the french paper website and built a feature called the 'light table'. for few bucks you can select some images, some textures, some color schemes, etc. and make some design pieces that LOOK JUST LIKE CHARLES ANDERSON! it only costs a few dollars, and you can design just like him!! he turned his own design syle into clip art! all to screw with the corporate guys trying to rip him.
now, he's working in a new style.
speaking of plundering images and such, has anyone ever seen a box of an indian product called sat-isabgol psyllium husk! it comes in a really cool box with a factory and a telephone on it. the graphic has been used on at least 3 posters i know of...including one i did
now that i've taken a breather, i'm going to give it a try again.
first, what i meant by 'fake art' in this PARTICULAR context is old clip art images that were intended to look like generic modern art mages. i'm currently fascinated by them. so, i'm using fake art on an art poster to advertise an art lecture by a fake 'hack' artist/designer who doesn't draw but i'm re-drawing everything and re-defining everything to include the ideas of rock posters which aren't art in and art incontext to show at a museum dedicated to the greatest non-artist artist of all - andy warhol. huh?
or something like that...
as for chuck, i see his efforts as being the results of a beautiful obssession. those books will never make money. they exist as priceless collections of popular art and cultural memorabilia and artifacts.
now, chuck knows a lot of that stuff is popular domain. he knows he can't "own" it. but some of it he researched the artists and bought the rights to it, some of it is protected by other people's copyrights and he's made arrangements to use it, and a great deal of the art is re-drawn by him and his staff to resemble the originals (compare and see!) and siome of it is just plain new stuff he did completely on his own. you have no idea which is which, so when you use it, you're taking a big risk. he does that to protect his expensive efforts aginst corporate rip-offs (some nasty lawsuits have resulted).
i'm also in the position of being good friends with him, and have contributed heavily to his books. at one point he even paid me to copy off my library of clip. i think what he's done is such a magnicent homage that i'd happily help again (and still do).
so here we have two guys working in the wonderful of advertising clip, both guys love it deeply and protect it with their lives (they've both dedicated themselves to it) for everybody to have.
sean puts out a magazine that he sells and make a meager living from. chuck starts a business of selling images for useage and loses his butt. sean's seen as a hero, chuck's seen as a villian. i've helped both, and love them both. they don't much like each other. if they would get together i think they could change the world. go figger.
i'm also good friends with sean 'craphound' and have helped him a great deal with his clip collection. he actually comes at copyright from an entirely different perspective and favors doing away with copyright restrictions altogether. as a result a lot of the images you've knicked from craphound were ones i've given him to use (your eye is very similar to my own) or items that sean created himself. but sean is protected by the first amendment by being a periodical rather than a commercial clip art business. he can put whatever he wants in there because it's the press, rather than a product. he's protected from copyright infringement by the first amendment protections of free speech that way. however, if you use it on something you may be violating some corporate copyright and setting yourself up for a lawsuit. or you might be ripping off sean
I think I'm following you. Define fake art. Is that the simple recontextulizing (dumb word) of imagery?
What stinks about this poster and some others I've done is that they are cop outs. I've stolen something here but didn't make it my own by adding something to it (or taking something away). While Warhol may have simply repainted a gas station logo on a giant canvas, he brought something to it that was distinctly his own.
Since you brought it up, what do think of the CSA imagery library? I know you've touched on it before. Having recently looked back over all of my early BW flyers I found so many images that have since been gobbled up Chuck (I imagine you could say the same thing about some images you've used). How do you feel about that?
the big problem with treating this stuff as assemblage or collage is that you use a lot of 'found' images. that means others 'find' them, too. there are ways of dealing with that, but it starts to turn into a big painful game. so don't sweat it, just do your best. right now i'm doing a poster to promote a talk by me where i'm using an image that came from an obscure clip book (and they found it somewher in europe) and chuck anderson anthologised it in one of his books, and now i'm taking it back and making a statement about 'fake art' with it because my talk is at the warhol museum. his ideas enter the image, as well as mine, all being presented in the context of my work being presented there and utilizing chuck and - well, it's a pigfuck.
ps - and any way you look at a pigfuck it's a real mess.
Yeah, I don't know either. Don't really care. This was done in 1994.
The cool thing to me about this poster was that I was in the band Stymie who opened the show. I got to share the stage with Ace Freheley! He was awful though. He was practically carried in by his personnel and propped up on stage, handed a guitar and told what to play. Pretty sad. It was right after that solo tour that Kiss decided to reunite for the first of their many comeback tours.