I've been thinking a lot about image appropriation, originality and what the appropriate parameters are for imitation, flattery, plagiarism or just plain poor judgment. It's been all the buzz in the photo-related blogosphere, and I've had lots and lots of back channel email correspondence on the topic too. It's a tiresome conversation in the sense that there is no real resolution to be had, it's bound to quickly devolve into one of those classic online slugfests that go from civil to invocations of rape and Nazism in no time flat. But, oh, here I go. I can't help it.
I was reading Socialite Rank yesterday. (Shut up. A girl is entitled to her guilty pleasures.) There was a post about the latest rebirth and certain (this time, really) relevancy of Radar. One of the features in the new issue is Socialites are Just Like Us. It manages to be offensive on many levels, on purpose I'm sure, but one photo from Jessica Craig-Martin's spread gave me an icky feeling beyond the overall unpalatable premise of socialites slumming it. It was this one:
Which bears an uncanny (albeit over-glammed up super flashy) resemblance to this work, by photographer Bill Sullivan, which was big in the blogosphere at the beginning of the year (it got Kottke'd! (and so on and so on)):
So where does this fall on the spectrum: Imitation? Flattery? Plagiarism? Have at it.
(I'm not yet caffeinated enough to link this post up, and while I intend to come back later with lots of interesting links, I can't promise anything. Anyone else who wants to take up the torch, by all means: do!)