ARTZINE: Do We Own Our Art?

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This Month – Do We Own Our Art?

Every time I put a new piece of art online I ask myself ,  “Will be okay?”, “Will it be stolen or copied?”.

The answer … ‘of course it will’ … but does it really matter?

I only upload small versions which can be copied, stored or even printed, but if someone wants a good print they’ll still need to buy it.

Art is not much use if no one sees it, and if artists want to make a living, they need their art to be seen.

The only way to advertise it is to show it off, and that makes it available for free, a bit of a ‘catch 22’ for artists everywhere.

But can we really own our art, and should we even want to?

Art can be a spontaneous, one-off, living experience. Pavement and graffiti artists understand art in this way, as do some musicians who insist on only spontaneous performances with audience participation.

Letting go of our art can be very hard, but really once a work is finished and published it really belongs to mankind and there’s very little we can do about it other than hope that if someone makes some cash from it maybe they’ll do the right thing and send some our way, or at least give us a mention in the credits.

I was reading an article in National Geographic, Thomas Dworzak: Mining for Memes on Instagram, about a photographer who unashamedly uses other people’s work to create books which he displays at exhibitions. He scours the internet for interesting images using hashtags and has even produced a book of images that he ‘found’ in a studio in Afghanistan of Taliban portraits. Presumably without the permission of the subjects.

When a graffiti artist leaves their work on a wall they create a rather interesting problem, especially if they happen to become somewhat famous. There was an article on the BBC website recently that related to just this question. Banksy has say over disputed Mobile Lovers artwork. It seems the artist might have some rights after all.

If you like graffiti art here’s a beauties for you to look at, 20 Of The Best Cities To See Street Art. Amazing work and all just left on the streets, a true gift to mankind.

Collage artists are notorious for recycling the work of others. They get around the copyright laws by using classics, vintage publications and works from the public domain. I get around them by only using my own images, but it can be a little restrictive at times. Take a look at one of my favourite collage artists to get an idea of how he recycles whats out there, The collages of David Delruelle – The re: art

That’s all I’ve got time for this month as I’m travelling between homes, but please let me know your thoughts and feelings and I’ll respond as soon as I’m back.


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For this month’s contributor’s …

How do you feel about copyrighting?

How do you feel about pirating?

Should ownership be sacred or does art belong to everyone?

Do you have something to share this month?

Your post can be anything from an image of your favourite work of art 

to a full scale essay of your opinions. The choice is yours.

Include “ARTZINE” in your title and tags so that other readers can find it

and link back to this post to be included here.

To find out more visit the “ARTZINE” page.

And remember it’s all for fun, you don’t need to be an artist or an expert, you just need to turn up to take part.

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Next Month on “ARTZINE” …

Sunday, September 7th – Can Art Change the World? 


12 thoughts on “ARTZINE: Do We Own Our Art?

  1. Hi hope you had a good holiday 🙂
    I sum the above up in one word ‘Blockage’; I believe we are all naturally creative, but the more we create ‘rules’, decide for others what is ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘in’, ‘out’, and set set some up as though ‘better’, put them ‘above’, shell out obscene monies for a piece, whilst those around them starve; then we create inner blocks to be able to even begin to find what is our own unique expression of the creativity within; which I believe is a natural response of our feelings towards life. Once we remove the rules and false inequalities, then those who feel inadequate to produce their own work, would do so, and no longer need to steal.
    all the best, Wren 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wren, I’m finally checking emails, comments etc. The last 3 weeks have been among the most hectic & most expensive of my entire life lol.
      I’ve just had a 2 day break, where I managed to be ill & sleep a lot & tomorrow I’m traveling again, this time to an internet free zone for a couple of days.
      I love your response to this month’s question, very nicely clarified. Our creativity is so tied up with our inner confidences & inadequacies.
      I really feel art can be a living experience, & as such, can belong to everybody. It’s a concept I struggle with constantly as I try to make a living from it.
      I try to experience it in all areas of my life, so that some is created for sale but much is expressed just in the way I live from day to day & is my personal attempt at giving something back.
      Thanks for a lovely & meaningful comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi 🙂
        I hope that apart from the illness you had a great time with your family; and that you are feeling better now. I understand what you mean about art. I like that you make things for people’s home and to wear, you are giving them a lot of pleasure each time they look at them 🙂 I agree that art is a living experience, that is what freely flows amongst us all. I know that ownerships and copyrights can be a thorny issue, and I do understand that people have to live too. All the best on your travels, enjoy the journey and stay well; talk to you when you get back and are well rested 😀


          1. Hi Khana; me too, but in a much smaller way lol, you have to unwind from all the travelling; hope you had a great time visiting with your family 🙂
            I bought another mini digi camera today, mine broke a while back and I’ve been using my phone, groan…. grin, so in middle of learning it’s ways; I will join in with ‘artzine’ beginning of next month 🙂


            1. Finally got this month’s post out only 1 day late lol. I can’t follow your link for last month. Has something happened to “Written on Pavements?


    1. Yes, I couldn’t agree more when it comes to my creations, but I’ve also lived in communities where art was a living, spontaneous event & it could be almost impossible to own anything.
      For instance music would be spontaneous & unrecorded, paintings would be done on sheets & people, sculptures would inevitably end up being set on fire as a grand finale lol.
      It’s a different kind of art I suppose & there are many more out there 🙂


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