Monday, November 2, 2015

Serious issue in Houston

The last two days, the artquilt email group has been abuzz with a discussion which (alas) took place last year for the same reason. Certain art entries who ended in the winners circle, have been proven to be almost direct copies of another's work. The PORTRAIT category has a direct copy of a Vermeer painting done with Kaffe Fasset fabric!!!!   Worse is the multiple prizewinner in another category PAINTED ART QUILT both of which appear to be copies of photos in the public domain.

The first prize winner in the painted category appears to be a cropped exact copy of a photo from a website



Many people have made comments about this. Most are discouraged and questioning why a category that is supposed to be ART, has resulted in entries that been rewarded for appropriation of others' work!

" I realize Houston show officials can't be all knowing about photos and art quilts that copy them, but surely there is something that can be done to correct this, at least in the future, or is there? Again, the Master's piece with girl in earrings should be recognizable by anyone associated with art. "

The issue is using another artist's work as the basis of your own art quilt and no matter how dazzling [the ] work is technically, if she copied some existing work even if it is out of copyright, it is not an art quilt in the eyes of the serious art quilt world."

I was always under the understanding that to do work on a national level especially at the amazing Visions, your work needed to be truly original."
"   I complain because I once was VERY excited to show my work there and I feel that, with so many copying other forms of art, I'm not competing with other quilters but with Vermeer or  photographers or famous Art Nouveau ads, or what have you in a category that is specifically about 
personal creativity. "

The same issue arose last year when a major prizewinner was a stroke for stroke copy of a modern painting....same colors, same composition different colored background. ( Admittedly the artist gave credit to the original artist....but what were the JUDGES thinking?)
There are those also who complain bitterly that we are somehow spoilers for stating that the emperor has no clothes! And some are tired of the repeated cry for ART in ART quilts.
" Please do not get into YET another beating a dead horse series of messages. Quilt exhibited, got award, move on, move on!! (and next year, everyone can copy an Old Master painting :)" 
" Until I can create work that outshines that of another artist do I have a right to criticize how they work and consider them not worthy of the prizes and awards they win?"

We are PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS who are trying to maintain some credibility in the art community.

I am particularly outspoken about this issue....I agree. Maybe I am a bit of a brat. But I have also become so disheartened that I have not entered Houston for several years now because the criteria is so NOT professional. This is my livelihood as well as my passion. Others share my opinion.  So if IQA has dropped the ball, we have to keep nudging them to pick it up yes?