Headlines: Painting, Rembrandt, and the Trump Tombstone

1) Wikimedia Sweden Sued for Copyright Infringement

A screen capture from Offentlig Konst


A website that mapped and featured photographs of public artworks in Sweden has been judged by a Swedish court to be in violation of copyright laws. Offentlig Konst is a website dedicated to showing tourists where to find popular art landmarks. It also offers high-quality photographs of each landmark, allowing site visitors free use of these images. The site’s owners, Wikimedia Sweden, were sued by the Visual Copyright Society in Sweden for providing royalty-free photographs without the consent of the artists. According to the ruling court, while individual tourists are still allowed to photograph the artworks, providing the photos on a database is a violation. Wikimedia Sweden has expressed its disappointment, noting that BUS’ opinions are outdated in the digital age.


2) Painting Teacher Discusses the Cons of Critical Thinking


An abstract geometric painting


For some great Friday morning reading, here’s a lengthy but interesting essay about how critical thinking relates – or perhaps, doesn’t relate – to the practice of painting and teaching painting. Laurie Fendrich, a long-time painting teacher, discusses his reasoning for avoiding teaching critical thinking as a fundamental part of a painting practice. The argument here is that teaching students that painting is purely a critical thinking exercise invites the bureaucracy and academic regulations that take away from painting as a subjective, transient and often obtuse form of expression.   


3) Researchers 3-D Print an Original Rembrandt


A detail image of The Next Rembrandt painting


3-D printing technology has taken yet more steps into the art world. A new “painting” entitled The Next Rembrandt was unveiled in Amsterdam this week, depicting what appears to be a simple portrait by the Dutch master. The work, however, isn’t a painting at all but rather a collection of 3-D printed pixels designed to carefully mimic the artist’s style of colour, composition and brush work. ING Bank, a sponsor of Dutch art and culture, proposed the project which was then executed by the Amsterdam branch of the J. Walter Thomson advertising firm. Over an 18-month period, researchers closely examined existing Rembrandts, feeding information about specific stylistic trends to a computer until they could create a sort of “Rembrandt algorithm,” through which the program created an original work that very closely resembles the artist’s style.  


4) Artist Behind Trump Tombstone Speaks 


A photo of the Trump tombstone pre-engraving


As we reported last week, a Donald Trump tombstone was installed in New York’s Central Park by an anonymous artist. The artist has since revealed their self to Hyperallergic, though requesting that their name and gender still be withheld. In this report, the artist reveals the process and impetus behind the ominous sculpture, as well as answering questions, like why the date of death was not specified. Though it was the idea of a single individual, the project was completed with the financial and physical help of a number of people including a tombstone manufacturing company.

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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