OK...Six out of 18 ain't bad.
And yes, that fine canvas reproduction welcoming you to the 4th Floor portion of the GAGOSIAN GALLERY actually was painted by "Mr. Rolling Stone" himself, directly from the Okinawa Soba Photostream post seen here :
After seeing Bob Dylan's exhibition first hand, my initial reaction was that Dylan's juvenile appropriation of the works of others (including copyrighted images, without permission or due credit to source) was so sad it was laughable.
Pathetic is another word that comes to mind.
His "paint-by-numbers" approach to simply coloring in others images that were digitally projected onto his canvass (or thrown there the old fashioned way with an OHP) was so un-astounding and uninspiring that all I could do was forgive the poor guy for his total lack of conscience, and pathetic attempt to pass off the work of others as his own.
Seeing that he was, at this late stage of his life, beyond repentance, and given over to the unholy spirit of self-aggrandizement for the sake of personal profit, I no longer cared what the hell he did, and as far as I was concerned, he could help himself to as many more of my Flickr posts as he wanted. As long as he's sinking in the quicksand, let him go down self-deluded and happy.
However, keeping my pitiful impressions of Dylan to myself, I decided to dwell on the more enjoyable impressions of my day in New York, and posted my forgiving comments on the EXPECTING RAIN Website, and left it at that.
As time passed, though, my original I-could-care-less attitude gave way to the conviction that Dylan should be publicly called out for his gross immaturity in matters of civil demeanor and copyright violation (of others photos, not mine), and ended up giving a few statements to several on-line magazines, and a dubious interview in NPR which was heard 'round the world.
For this Flickr caption, allow me to set up the fine line between use of "Public Domain" images, and passing off such works as your own.
★ Of course, my old-photo Flickr posts are all made from PUBLIC DOMAIN photos in my archives, and as everyone who knows my photostream is aware, I offer Dylan and everyone else the FREE USE OF THESE IMAGES for Blogging, Websites, Arts and Craft work, and YES, EVEN CONVERTING TO PAINTINGS !
No problem !!!
However, I do not offer the freedom to cook up lies while playing in the sandbox of diddly-squat deception --- by either directly or indirectly allowing people who see your artwork to believe they were painted from photos that you took yourself, and were the result of your own eye for composition, framing, and choice of content !
Dylan was quoted in the Exhibition Catalog as saying all of these images were from his direct contact with the subjects portrayed, during his own travels around the world --- which anyone with half a brain who attended the exhibition could see was a total load of horse manure.
Again, pathetic and sad all at the same time --- especially from someone who has engendered the goodwill of so many fans for so many decades.
♥ And SPEAKING OF FREEDOM to PLAGIARIZE : news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/bob-dylan-john-glenn-toni-mor...
CALLING A SPADE A SPADE ♠ AND CALLING DYLAN A PLAGIARIZER.
★ So, the issue here is not about the use of the photos, but one of "ethics" --- involving both the credit acknowledgement issues, and issues of deceit when offering the public a description of how and from where the "inspiration" for them came.
★ This is not the Gagosian Gallery's problem of faulty PR by a middle man. It is Dylan's problem. A careful reading of Dylan's own words in the Exhibition Catalog shows "plain as day" that he has no interest in crediting either his old public domain sources, or those photographers who still hold these images under copyright.
★ This is not about me. I don't post these images for the purpose of gathering "thanks", "credit", "accolades", or "praise". I didn't even take the damn pictures. Discussing Dylan's lack of proper source credit for ALL the photos (not just those from this photostream) is a discussion about artists who intentionally don't cite sources [a form of "thank you" called an "acknowledgement" or "credit"] that serves both the viewer of the art, and the evolution or history of the image upon which the art is built. Anything less is an ego-serving scam that defrauds both the person viewing the image, and the world of art in general.
IS DYLAN'S ART A FORM OF "ARTISTIC PLAGIARISM" ? OF COURSE IT IS. SEE THE LINK TO MY FALACULTURE RESPONSE FURTHER BELOW
By the way, you can brush up on the subject HERE : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism
Please note in the Wiki overview above, that PLAGIARISM IN THE ART WORLD is, even today, DEFENDED, GLORIFIED, and EXTOLLED as part of the "creative process" of Artists.
What ? Passing off straight copy-cat paintings of photos (or even other artworks) that were composed, framed, and executed by others, as scenes born from your own witness of life or fervent imagination, and conveyed to the canvass by some innate talent that supposedly resides in your inner creative soul ?
That's correct. And for most of history, that's exactly the way it has been. Depending on the historic period in question, artists (to varying degrees) would live in the BS fantasy world of plagiarizing the work others to make up for their utter lack of personal talent.
That would be OK if they were just little kiddies practicing the PAINTINGS or PIANO TUNES of others in order to limber up in the privacy of the studio. However, part of becoming an adult, and making our own contributions to the world of art, involves NOT telling people we wrote a tune that was really by MOZART, or passing off a copy of the MONA LISA as something new and fresh pulled straight from your creative muse.
ON WITH THE SHOW !
Dylan titled the above painting "SHANGHAI".
However, the original photo he used was actually taken in CANTON.
Rumor has it that Bob was so excited to find some great photos in this Flickr archive (to enlarge and paint over?) that he tripped over himself, bumped his head, his mind went completely blank, and he plum forgot to copy down the actual location ! ;-)
He was also so excited, he forgot to mention the photographers of the copyrighted images he used from both MAGNUM PHOTOS, GETTY IMAGES, and OTHERS.
DYLAN EXHIBITION ANNOUNCEMENT :
Of the 18 large Dylan canvasses on display, SIX were "inspired" by photos from the Flickr "Soba Archive" --- see if you can spot them by enlarging the thumbnails HERE :
BOB DYLAN -The Asian Series. The Gagosian Gallery says that these paintings are a "visual reflection on his travels in [Asia]". The Wall Street Journal says these paintings are from Dylan's "visual journal" acquired during his "face to face" time with the people of Asia.
Wow. I'm impressed !
HOWEVER....Okinawa Soba can assure you that at least a good handful are actually "visual paint-overs" of old photos sitting in a box right here in my house in the Poconos of Pennsylvania !
And...quite a few others were copy-painted directly from images still under copyright, with absolutely no credit given to the photographers whose photographs he copied via brushes and an acrylic paint palette.
OK, Bob....you may now return to rolling like a stone, blowing in the wind, and writing some more music for us !
MY OPINIONS ON THE SUBJECT ARE WELL-PUBLISHED IN FALACULTURA HERE :
You are welcome to both agree and disagree with me !
QUESTION for Okinawa Soba : How do you know if Dylan didn't take this photo with his own camera while traveling in China back in the 1920s before he was born ? Or, How do you know he didn't find this photo somewhere else ?
ANSWER : Okinawa Soba uses certain "crop-lines" which reduce the image from the original Public Domain print, slide, or stereoview. In most cases, Except for two of his works, Dylan followed my new crop-lines and re-composed images exactly. In the case of the above view of Canal Boats, Dylan followed some key color schemes which were serendipitously applied to the original hand-colored slide, and have never been seen elsewhere else except on my Flickr post. Etc etc etc.
Note to Bob Dylan --- I'm glad you liked a few of my posted photos of old Asia. I enjoyed my visit to the Gagosian Gallery, and viewing your paintings made from the old photos. Please come back anytime, and next time DON'T FORGET TO CREDIT ALL OF YOUR SOURCES !
♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦ ♫ ♦
★ MORE COMMENT FROM THE SHEKNOWS ENTERTAINMENT WEBSITE ----
"..........Dylan’s art exhibition "The Asia Series" -- going on this month at the Gagosian Gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side -- is described as "a visual journal" of his travels and experiences "in Japan, China, Vietnam and Korea," with "firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape."
The iconic singer has certainly traveled the globe, so he likely has plenty of experience to draw from, right? Not so fast: The New York Times reported that several Dylan aficionados have noticed striking similarities in Dylan’s art -- like that he copied certain photographs line for line.
It’s not a coincidence -- several pieces, like one of two Asian men, are exact replicas of older photographs.
"The most striking thing is that Dylan has not merely used a photograph to inspire a painting: he has taken the photographer’s shot composition and copied it exactly. He hasn’t painted the group from any kind of different angle, or changed what he puts along the top edge, or either side edge, or the bottom edge of the picture," Dylan fan MICHAEL GRAY wrote on his blog, Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.
"He’s replicated everything as closely as possible. That may be a (very self-enriching) game he’s playing with his followers, but it’s not a very imaginative approach to painting. It may not be plagiarism but it’s surely copying rather a lot..........."
I have now expanded the PERMISSIONS statement in my Flickr Profile into this :
HAISAI, HOWDY, & KONNICHIWA !.
THIS CC ARCHIVE OF MOSTLY OLD JAPANESE PHOTOS IS JUST FOR YOU !
♥ ♥ ♥ That's right ! With just a few exceptions, almost every photo you see on this photostream is completely free to use for your Blogging, Website, and other Creative Uses ! YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION -- NO NEED TO ASK !
♥ ♥ ♥ While the PHOTOS ARE FREE TO USE --- Note that Flickr (not me) requires a link back to the Flickr page as a means of giving PROPER CREDIT and SOURCE INFORMATION.
♥ ♥ ♥ If you are using these OFF LINE for any PUBLIC DISPLAY as is, or STRAIGHT CONVERSION TO ARTWORK, please include source credit somewhere to allow others to access, understand, and appreciate the root of your graphic inspiration. This is not a legal requirement for the use of the old photos, but rather, an appeal to ethics and social courtesy in a civilized society who might falsely believe that your paintings or photocopies are born from your own experience or personal photos that you, yourself took.
♥ ♥ ♥ Also, for OFF-LINE USE, If I have identified the ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHER in any caption, please credit THAT PHOTOGRAPHER. In such cases, Neither "Okinawa Soba" nor "Flickr" need be mentioned, as I am not posting this stuff for my own glory. Otherwise, please credit this Flickr photostream.