Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Favorite Artists #2

...and so many more!

Wow it has been a very interesting couple of weeks and I learned a lot! First a very big, warm hearted thank you to Gagosian Gallery for the generous time and attention they gave me regarding a recent request to use images. At first I was intimidated to contact them as they are such a giant but in the end I relied on the old saying "it never hurts to ask" and the people I talked to were fabulous. Also the same big thank you to the DeKooning Foundation for their willingness to answer my questions and pointing me in the right direction.

You are probably wondering "what the heck is she talking about"…well I wanted to do a blog series on my favorite artists, many of them are alive and thriving (thank goodness) some of whom are carried by Gagosian so I contacted them regarding the rights to use images of the artists work since I had no way to contact the artists directly. As an artist I don't want people using images of my work without my written permission (and I mean via snail mail) so I won't use images by other artists without the appropriate okays. As we all know Gagosian is a mega-gallery and wicked busy but I enjoyed great email exchanges with them until I realized this project, if I went forward to get permissions, was going to turn into a monster time-eating enterprise for me and for those I would be contacting. I learned that it's not just a quick ok, you have to be very specific in your request, be ready with detailed information about the image you want to use and when you contact someone as big as Gagosian you are using up their valuable time.  So I decided to drop the project with the exception of the image above where I write the artists name and there may be more posts like that which frankly has an appealing meditative quality to it.

For the most part when people see an artists name such as some of the above whose very names invoke images that will be enough and you can ponder the work from just the mere mention of their name, but if you don't know the artist it would be my deepest wish that you have the curiousity to find out more about them. I have a great respect for curiousity!

Recently, and some of you may have seen it, I put up Willem DeKooning as my first "Favorite Artist" blog post because these were some images that resonated with what I'm currently working on. I told the gentleman at Gagosian with whom I'd been talking to about it so he could get a sense of the post. He very kindly advised that I might want to take that post down until I had permission from the DeKooning Foundation. So I called the DeKooning Foundation and had a great chat with them. I was under the assumption that since we had lost this genius (DeKooning) that his images were up for grabs…not so!!! It varies and this is what I've learned from further research…there is a general rumor that it's about 75 - 100 years after an artist passes that one can use their images. Since it does vary and since it depends on WHO holds the copyright one should always check. The DeKooning Foundation was more than willing to look at the images I was using, pass them around to the appropriate people at the Foundation for further approval but it dawned on me how much time this will take on their part just so I could post a few pictures on a blog. Don't get me wrong, I love my blog and hope it is an important/different view on all things art plus I have a lot of fun with it but these people are swamped with requests and frankly I don't want to add to their mayhem.

Furthermore The DeKooning Foundation sent me to an important website about copyright information which I hope readers will bookmark for future reference The Artists Rights Society and the address is

What a terrific learning experience this has been and in one of my discussions (I won't say which place) we talked about how blogs are the worst for snatching images without permission, it happened to me and I didn't like it so I won't do that to other artists…living or gone to the great studio in the sky.

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