My vote for the first Must See Show of NYC’s Fall Art Season is iconic stencil artist Blek Le Rat’sIgnorance is Bliss at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. While Saturday’s opening reception was comparatively sparsely attended, this made for a great viewing experience, perfect photo snapping conditions and a chance to talk to the artist himself, who was on hand to sign cards, pose for photos and, in general, be an all around nice, cool guy. Blek Le Rat! Continue reading Must See Art: Blek Le Rat’s Ignorance is Bliss→
The Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta, better known as Mr Brainwash, has lost a copyright case involving a 1977 photograph of the punk rock musician Sid Vicious shot by the British photographer Dennis Morris. Guetta had claimed that the seven works he created using Morris’s black and white photograph, including one mural and one collage made of broken vinyl records, were sufficiently altered to be protected by the fair use defence, which allows for the use of copyrighted material for commentary, criticism and parody.
The federal judge rejected Guetta’s claim, saying that “most of [the] defendant’s works add certain new elements, but the overall effect of each is not transformative.” The judge also opposed the argument that “appropriation art per se” should be protected by fair use. As we went to press, the terms of the settlement, including unspecified damages, were being determined.
In 2011 Guetta lost a copyright case to Glen Friedman over his use of Friedman’s photograph of the rap group Run DMC, while last year the estate of the photographer Jim Marshall sued Guetta and Google for the unauthorised use of Marshall’s photographs of musicians. This case has not yet been decided and is due to go to trial in July.
On This Date, February 2nd, in 1979: Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious (Born Simon John Ritchie) died of a heroin overdose in New York City. He was 21 years old. Sid did not live a long life, and that is a shame. But he was such a mess when he died, it is difficult to speculate on the type of person he might have become had he never met/murdered Nancy Spungen, and eventually gotten his act together. Some people just aren’t built to last (see also Darby Crash and Kurt Cobain), so maybe it’s a moot point to even entertain such thoughts as what he might be like in his fifties, if he were alive today. Continue reading Sid Vicious: Dead at Twenty-One→
Sid Vicious, (born John Simon Ritchie), bassist for the Sex Pistols and infamous pop culture icon, would have celebrated his Birthday today, if he had not died in 1979. May 10th is also the Birthday of Sixties Pop Guru, Donovan(born in 1946) and some guy named Paul Hewson (born in 1960), who sings and pontificates for the band U2. Happy Birthday, guys!
For winter weather-imposed shut-ins like me, who practically haven’t left the house in six months, last night provided a fantastic entrée into spring, when legendary Rock Photographer Bob Gruen brought his Rockers exhibit to the Morrison Hotel Gallery(formerly CBGB’s Gallery). Let me tell you, it was quite the scene-making opportunity I’ve been craving.