Copyright or wrong – Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios on artFido

April 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

by Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios

I’m sure I’ve used that headline before. But it’s too good to resist.

According to The Art Newspaper (TAN), Italian artist Claudio Capotondi has made inroads into the Chinese art world. A version of the work he produced in 1978, Sferosnodo, was selected for permanent display at the front of a station in the city of Kunshan, China.

artFido - Claudio Capotondi 'Sferosnodo'

On the left: Claudio Capotondi, ‘Sferosnodo’, 1983. On the right: copy of ‘Sferosnodo’ outside Kunshan station, China. Image via The Art Newspaper (www.theartnewspaper.com)

The only catch? Capotondi had nothing to do with the creation of the sculpture on display in China, which is much larger than the artist’s own work, which he first made in bronze in 1978, and again in marble in 1983. He also had no idea the gargantuan version was being made.

But now here’s the mind-bending thing. Think about ‘authorship’ and what you think it means in the context of fine art. Well, Capotondi is now campaigning to have the new version attributed to him. Although I had a look, and it appears that his website is now offline, according to TAN, Capotondi lists the sculpture as his own on his site. He has also said that he admires the work. “The are excellent craftsmen over there. It is a complex structure and the copy is much bigger than my original.”

So according to this, blatant plagiarism can result in a work of art for which an artist can claim authorship, even if he or she had no idea it was being made, far less any involvement with its creation.

OK. So, does that mean that Gucci is going to claim authorship for the dodgy knock-off handbags sold in the streets? Unlikely, because they wouldn’t want to acknowledge such shoddy craftsmanship. Not to mention, their trade relies on the premise of ‘exclusivity’. Does that mean artists will claim authorship of a stolen design only if the object produced measures up to their exacting standards? And does that mean that if I were to whip up a completely excellent Damian Hirst, that he would claim authorship, and I’d be in possession of an original Damian Hirst, rather than a derivative Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios? Of course, there are laws in Australia and internationally that would make the latter scenario more complicated. But I’m talking theoretically.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios is an independent writer, journalist and academic. Original post published on www.wilsonanastasios.com.


artFido Popular Art Button For Blog

Currently trending on artFido:

Artist Ivan Hoo Turns Objects Into Unbelievable Hyperrealist Drawings

A glass of wine, an adorable pug, a jar of Nutella. Not only does Ivan Hoo have an inhuman ability

Surprisingly Realistic Banana Peel Art!

We’re not sure when it started happening, but all of a sudden, banana-skin art is all the rag

The Most Spectacularly Creative Rings Ever

The right ring on your finger can make you feel like a regal king or a beloved queen. What modern ri

Say Hi to Zeus: The Rescued Blind Owl With Stars In His Eyes

One morning, someone in Southern California found an injured owl on their porch. It turned out to be

Miner Spends His Breaks Taking Photos of Foxes In The Arctic Circle

Russia’s remote north-eastern Chukotka region is an inhospitable arctic tundra, but even in this b

Amazing Time Lapse Footage of Jim Thalassoudis Painting “The Skipping Girl” [VIDEO]

We’ve previously written about Jim Thalassoudis (see HERE and HERE), and continue to be amazed