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Wild Olive Art

The illegal art copying trade !

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Wild Olive Art

Original article from Painterskeys.com

 

Art for art’s fake sake.

 

Cheap art from Chinese factories are hanging on walls seemingly everywhere you look. You see them in doctor’s waiting rooms, hotel lobbies, office buildings, and living rooms. Usually very colourful and covered with thick blobs of paint, these oil paintings are mass-produced on assembly lines in China and sold for very cheap prices . Western consumers are eating them up, supporting the growth of an industrial phenomenon.

 

The problem is, we are sacrificing quality. Is the quality of real art going to decline to match the competition

Americans are more concerned about saving a buck than holding onto their integrity. Always looking for ways to save money has encouraged the practice of sweatshop production. It seems that art is no longer sacred, but has been subverted to the level of bargain basement prices, becoming market friendly. Is the constant lust for a bargain actually hurting anyone? The Chinese artist living in cramped conditions getting paid by piece is hurt (Paetsch 3). Emerging American artists are hurt by the cheap prices of Chinese art: lowering the prices they can expect to charge for paintings. Average people do not want to spend $500 or more for a 16″ x 20″ painting. It seems that common art buyers do not know the difference between original art and copies, or do not care. Last but not least, pirates stealing images from the web to reproduce and sell at very low prices have hurt many other artists (Genn 8).

 

In China, the issue of Intellectual Property and Copyright are fairly new concepts. China signed onto The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works October 15th, 1992 (Genn 2).

 

The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement about copyright, which was first adopted in Berne, Switzerland in 1886… Prior to the adoption of the Berne Convention, national copyright laws would usually only apply for works created within each country.

 

The importance of The Berne Convention is monumental. This means that the Chinese copy painters cannot just download art by living artists and make reproductions without written permission. However, that is exactly what they are doing. You see it is ok to copy the “Old Master” paintings because those artists are long dead and their works are in the public domain. But, it is illegal to make copies and sell them without the original living artist’s permission. The fact that some of the Copyists are now stealing art from living artists is a slap in the face of creativity and ingenuity. Instead of stealing, perhaps they could have contacted the artists whose work they admired and come up with a profitable offer to benefit both.

Well known artists have begun to discover reproductions of their works being offered for sale online. They are not just sitting idly by and letting it happen. For Instance, Robert Genn, fine artist and author of The Robert Genn, Twice Weekly Letter, wrote an alert letter to his readers titled: “International Theft”. He did this to inform artists who may have been unknowingly victimized. This “International Theft” was perpetuated by the owners of a large Chinese website called Arch-world. Arch-world, containing the works of approximately 2800 artists living and dead, was pulling images of paintings from dealer and public gallery websites, printing ink jet reproductions and selling them for very cheap prices (Genn 1). In a list of updates later published on the Painter’s Keys website, Genn tells of other websites that were discovered, selling hand painted copies of art by living artists. Here, Genn gives a chronological accounting of how the Painter’s Keys team, and around 1100 angry artists wrote emails to the operators of the websites, and to key people in governmental positions demanding their paintings be removed.

 

Therefore, it is so important to know where and who you are buying art from. To establish provenance, meet the artist or the gallery owner. People who crave art and want real paintings to hang on their walls, but have a small budget, can go to a local artist’s co-operative and purchase great original art. Usually, at these little art galleries run by artists you can meet the person who made the art. And, I’ll guarantee the artists you find in co-op galleries don’t work in a sweatshop. Real artists were born to paint. They paint out of passion; painstakingly placing each stroke and loving every minute of it.

 

The mass-produced art from china cannot be considered real art.

 

See full article here

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lilythepink

Makes for interesting reading, Wild Olive. Thanks.

 

But what is being done to stop it, that is my question!

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Wild Olive Art

The industry is so huge that it is hard to control. Artists are taking action when they discover their works being copied and have succeeded in getting their pirated images removed from the print company websites.

It is very difficult when buyers support this trade ( generally because they themselves are being duped ) - just look at what sells here on BOB alone ( mostly international sellers) , although many of the works are listed under reproductions , they are usually described as " original hand painted images " and buyers don't look further than that. They think they are getting a good piece of art at a bargain price.

 

Here in SA , copyright is a hot topic of late. There are a number of artists who have been caught out painting over Giclee prints or copying work that is not theirs to copy and the attitude now is name and shame ! These artist basically ruin their own careers because they have been withdrawn from exhibitions and competitions and lose credibility.

 

In the words of **** Cavett " “As long as people will accept cr%p, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.”

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