I know Kombo. He's a stand up guy and would not use this element in a piece because he thought it would result in monetary advantage.
Look at the two pieces. Is the second a rip-off of the first?
If this is inappropriate, then 90% of hip hop is inappropriate...most of the blues. You can Biz Markie him, Honey, if you can show monetary loss...or you could be proud you have influenced the scene.
Don't agree totally, although Jiha does have a point. But her use of the decorative edging is not original either and that is key. That is unbelievably important. She is a borrower herself, and I have pointed that out on Facebook - and she is entitled to do that. Then, her viewpoint about borrowing negates the function of art as a discussion, as a means of communication, and that is also key. If we followed Jiha's rule to the fullest extent, art making would not be possible.
Oh! And, full disclosure, I make paintings w found photographs, often w permission, often not. As well as the appropriation of graphics, illustrations, animated characters, film stills, paintings and anything else that serves the piece. Which I believe in the end is a wholey unique and new object.
When I was younger, and still today, I loved listening to Public Ememy, the Beasty Boys, and a variety of other rap acts. When I was older I got into James Brown, and only then realized that his music was the basis for 90% of Hip Hop music. It was astonishing to me.... But it didn't make me appreciate the "knock offs "any less? No. Was it easier for them to borrow? Sure... Did they make something new? I think so.
I have done some murals in town... A more popular and a more prolific muralist's work has often been confused for mine. There is a striking similarity in our visual language and application. To be honest I think that my work may have influenced theirs..I can't really know if this is the case. But the thought of it was frustrating to me for a while.
This is an interesting debate.... How many Todd Murphy knock offs were there in Atlanta after his success in the late 90's? And some would argue that he himself was riffing on the Starns Twins work! Pink Floyd was influenced by Mikes Davis...the Beatles Helter Skelter was inspired by the Who, a much younger and lessor known band at the time. Pablo Picasso didn't invent cubism as many in the public think.
I was reading a book on Damien Hurst. There was a story about his "dot paintings" in which his assistant, who did all if the actual painting of these pieces, asked if she could have one. If you are not familiar with these paintings they are very straight forward and in my option a little dull. Honestly anyone with a compass, access to a Sherwin Williams and some patience could make them. The assistant asked if she could have one. SHE ASKED IF SHE COULD HAVE ONE OF THE PAINTINGS SHE MADE!!??? He said no. His reasoning was that it was worth too much money to give to her. This begs the question of what gives art it's value? Is it the idea? The hand that makes it? Is it the artist? Is it authorship? Or is it the buying public?
I love Jiha's work. She is one if the brightest talents in Atlanta and beyond. But I do not think it diminishes her work or reputation. Nor do I think that this artist borrowing/stealing of a phrase from one of her paintings is advancing their work inordinately. That said I do understand her frustration.
If you're going to "borrow", ask permission first. If you can't ask for permission, don't borrow it.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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