I've just been down to marvellous Melbourne for a brief stint (didn't spot Gary unfortunately). Anyway, Melbourne has several back alleys that are (I believe legally) given over to graffiti / street art. These places are absolutely amazing, I took many photo's of the works on display for inspiration as much as anything else but now I'm wondering... A couple would make excellent backgrounds for something I want to do but what's the etiquette? The graffiti is mostly anonymous so the best acknowledgement I can give is the place and date/time I took the photo', I wouldn't be pretending that the work was mine but would acknowledge its source as far as possible. I also wouldn't be using it for anything other than as a kind of background wallpaper but the question is, is this really ethical? I don't know how copyright or intellectual property would work with this stuff what do you all think?
Wow, that's a really interesting one Jules. I have no idea what the answer is, but I think acknowledging the source as much as you can is the first step. It may be worth checking out if there are any graffiti websites that may discuss this kind of thing.
indeed,the best thing you can do is mention the date and place,if there is no signature or whatever my guess is that you can use it in your work,the grafitti is a part of the building/wall or whatever,the same as you take a picture of lets say a house and use it in one of your works
But take a good look for the 'signature'sometimes it is part of the grafitti and it's difficult to see
I think any problem you might get is if someone sees his or her work in your photos and complains. I'd include place and date, and if someone steps up and sez a work is his or hers, give her or him credit. It's another matter if you make money off the images, but that's an even hazier area. For you to receive benefits from intellectual property, you have to claim it, or have someone claim it for you. You can always publish/print and deal with any repercussions afterward. That's what I would do.
Thanks everyone! I will be on the lookout for 'signatures' incorporated into the work, that's worth remembering In-grid. I hadn't thought of graffiti websites Bronwyn - to be honest never even thought such things existed but I should have known someone would be doing something like that. I guess asking people to let me know if I've used their work so that I can acknowledge them properly would also be a good idea - I've seen that kind of thing in books sometimes so maybe that would work too. I wouldn't actually be using the photo's as a work in their own right just as an element of something else, probably 3D, just hope nobody thinks that's disrespectful - if anyone ever sees it!
Easy, there is no grey area on this. if someone created something and you use it for your own work without permission and they are living ... it is theft in the art world (and can be sued for intellectual property theft) ... it might be anonymous, but if you show that work in a gallery, and the a person spots a graffiti artists work that they know of ... you might find yourself in a pickle of in the least your reputation being smashed ... and galleries talk to each other. ... Juxtapose Magazine is half graffiti artists and that is a well spread out magazine.
Best bet, find a local area that graffiti artists frequently tag and ask one for permission to take photos of the finished work and if you can use the photos in your stuff ... most likely they will say no ... but you never know ... some don't care.
I think you might be right Brian but I had no intention of passing off the work as my own - just wanted to figure out the best way to do the right thing. All looks too hard to be worth it really. I might try to do my own graffiti but it's not my field of expertise at all, don't think it would look convincing. Oh, well at least we've had some discourse on the topic - interesting...
it's not that hard to do your self (honestly it isn't) just a different skill set and esthetic. pretty much just think of most graffiti as 2 styles, painted and stenciled ... stenciled graffiti is similar to banksy or hell anything involving a stencil to portray a message or theme. painted stuff is going to mainly be a lot of words that are overly stylized to become abstract ... good example and reference is ....
Pretty much all of it is easy enough to do ... i have panels i play with all the time ... probably have about 50 paintings on them ... good stuff.
Thanks Brian, you know what ,maybe i should give it a go. I just kind of thought it would be like me writing a romance novel (which I loathe) I could probably do it but would it feel authentic? Not that I loathe graffiti by any means (well, so long as it's more than a badly scrawled tag, that is!) and I'm a huge Banksy fan. Stencils would definitely be the way to go for me as I use them a lot in my work anyway. You've given me a bit of a push to try it for myself... there is one thing, I'll have to do stuff on canvas and board, not walls and trains (I live in tiny town and there's no chance of doing a Banksy and going unrecognised, or even uncaptured, in my conservative town of upright minded citizens). But maybe that's for the best anyway... I'm sure it will give me a better appreciation, even if i'm crap at it.. Cheers!
Hey Brian, been watching youtube - do you know why the artists keep the spray tops off the spray cans, is that to stop them clogging? Most of them seem to do it - just wondered if you knew. Amazing stuff - a bit intimidating if anything, how they get so loose and non drippy with spray cans, i don't know - practise i guess...
they switch the tips. most commercial spray paint cans use a wide spray tip for equal coats ... not painting with. http://www.bombingscience.com/shop-tips.htm
you also don't need to spray paint the stuff. you can use mopsticks (think shoe polish type containers ... foam applicator w/ resevoir for paint), there is pasting (printing art then pasting it to a surface), stencilling ... like banksy ... even what gary does, spray painting, actual painting, etc, etc, etc. pretty much most styles and techniques developed so the person doing it won't get caught. Hell ... I did screen printing back in the day ... good stuff too ... lots of construction and everything had plywood blockades ... i used screen doors and laquer as my block out fluid to make the screen and made thick paste type of gesso for the 'ink' and boom ... screen printed grafitti ... awesome stuff. hard as hell to do too.
Bloody hell, i have to rethink my whole idea about this stuff. I've always had a lot of respect for these artists and i knew there was a lot of expertise involved but truly, it's a whole new world. Didn't even know spray cans have different heads for different things, no wonder my spray painting is always so dodgy. I know how to do paste-ups, got shown that but not really colourful enough for what i want. Screen printing graffiti sounds dangerously slow - did you get caught? I like the sound of screen wire and lacquer though, very cool, appropriate technology. I'm off to practise (after just a few more clips...)