Artist Inspired By Andy Warhol, Creates Truly Astounding Work... Ends Up Giving It Away Over 'Copyright Infringement'

from the copyright-suppressing-artists dept

Well, here's yet another crazy story of copyright interfering with art (ht to Jean for sending this over). Buckle in, because there's a lot to explain, starting with some truly astounding art, followed by more truly astounding art, with an extra helping of even more astounding art... and then an apparent claim of copyright infringement. What follows is truly amazing work by artist CJ Hendry. Most of this is taken from a long Instagram story in which she documented this entire process, so forgive the image heavy explanation here, but it helps to explain what happened -- so I'll include some explanatory screenshots.

She started with a bunch of Andy Warhol's famous Polaroids, cutting them out of the book of such photographs, and then sketched amazingly accurate renditions of them.

That, alone was incredibly impressive, but then she took it much further. She took her own drawings and crumpled up the papers:

... and then drew new images of her crumpled up drawings of the original polaroids:

Then, she made t-shirts featuring her drawings of the crumpled up drawings that she made replicating Andy Warhol's Polaroids:

If you're not in awe already, you should be. But Hendry kept going. Since this was all an homage to Andy Warhol, she took the homage even further and made up her own Campbell's style soup labels, put them on cans and put the t-shirts into the cans.

She was intending to sell each of the t-shirts in the cans, which would have been amazing... but then, copyright (maybe?) apparently got in the way.

It's not entirely clear who stepped in -- Hendry insists it was not the Warhol Foundation -- but suddenly that the sale has been cancelled:

If you can't read that, it says:

Thanks to everyone for the lovely messages about the tees sorry for letting you all down.

Believe it or not it had nothing to do with the Warhol Foundation, another organization completely.

Just for lolls I will probably bring out a tee as a massive spoof of the whole thing because why the heck not.

Stay tuned...

So, instead of selling them, she packed up each of these amazing cans, placed them in bright red boxes, labeled "Copyright Infringement -- Trash Only":

...and then has been placing them randomly around New York City for people to find, posting pictures (and addresses) on Instagram. I'm actually going to New York City in two days and am pissed off I'm going too late to find one of these amazing boxes and t-shirts.


Again, it's not entirely clear who is behind this. The book publisher Taschen published the book of Andy Warhol's Polaroids, so perhaps they have a copyright interest here? The only other one I can think of would be Campbell's Soup, though that would be crazy. Of course, a decade ago, we wrote about the letter that Campbell's Soup sent to Warhol back in 1964, joking that if Warhol had tried to do the same thing today, he undoubtedly would have received a cease and desist from a humorless corporate trademark lawyer. Instead, Campbell's celebrated Warhol's creativity:

It is too bad that the modern equivalent has been shut down via at least some sort of intellectual property threat.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: andy warhol, art, campbell's soup, cj hendry, copyright, infringement, polaroids, t-shirts


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2018 @ 10:48am

    Re:

    If it's best not discussed here, why even mention it?

    Also, why is it best not discussed here? This is Mike's blog. If you have easily accessible proof, nut up and show it.

    In other words, Mr. Smith, Pics or GTFO.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.