Symposium Update Following Tutorial.

My starting point from moving on from my tutorial with Kate on the 2nd, was to gain a better understanding of appropriated art, something I hadn’t heard of before.

“Appropriation in art and art history refers to the practice of artists using pre-existing objects or images in their art with little transformation of the original” (Tate.org.uk 2015)

“Appropriation is the intentional borrowing, copying, and alteration of preexisting images and objects.” (Moma.org 2015)

By using the example of Andy Warhol’s work, I was able to put the appropriate art meaning into context. In 1962, Warhol produced a piece of work titled ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ which was made up of 32 canvas’, each featuring can of Campbell’s Soup with all the different kinds/flavours. He had used the design of Campbell’s Soup cans in order to create a new piece of art, a combination of these cans but this lead to the questioning of ethics and the questioning of his motives. People were left confused as to why Warhol created a piece of art from an every day item. (Wikipedia 2015)

After considering this work from Warhol, it lead me to question whether I could bring in the debate of how appropriated art leads to problems with copyright issues. Are artists allowed to take something else to essentially make it their own? And under what grounds are they allowed to do so?

With intentions to use Warhol as an example for my argument, I considered this case study in terms of my title – ‘consider the way advertisers/designers have appropriated ‘the still life’ to make products desirable’. This is where I began to encounter a problem, as Warhol was neither an advertiser or designer and whilst he had used still life to create his piece, I was unsure as to how it made the product more desirable. ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ was not being used to sell the cans.

I decided to try and think about the Panzani advert in terms of this title. It suited it in terms of the advertiser using still life to make products more desirable, as they had been placed and peiced together to create this idea of ‘italianicity’ encouraging the consumer to buy into that authentic feeling when out shopping next, making Panzani stand out from other brands. However, I could not see this as appropriated art and therefore could not see it fitting under this title.

After struggling with these, I decided to try and find my own example of appropriated art which fit under this title. This was when I came across ‘Bubbles’ – a painting by Sir John Everett Millais which was used in advertisements for Pear Soaps, however ended up sparking a debate of the relationship between art and advertising. The painting was purchased by managing director Thomas J. Barratt meaning he held copyright over the image. It was later claimed by Mallais’ son that John had tried to stop the painting from becoming an advertisement however after selling it, he had no legal say over it’s use. (Wikipedia, 2015). I thought this was a good example, however the more I considered it, the more I realised it didn’t fit my title. The painting had been used for the purpose of advertisement, but I would not consider this painting to be ‘still life’, neither had it been altered in terms to make the Pears Soap brand more desirable.

As I continued to try and find more suitable examples but seem to be running into more problems, I realised I was getting myself into more of a mess than necessary. I was struggling to piece anything together that actually made sense, and as one thing became a huge muddle, so did the rest of my notes and other things I intended to research. How could I create an argument out of these, particularly feeling like I couldn’t find any solid case studies? By this point in the module, I found myself to be struggling horrendously and with serious fears of having already fallen behind, I decided I wanted to speak to a lecturer to help guide me in how I could make this topic work or try something completely different. It stuck in my mind how Anthony spoke of being passionate about the subject we were talking about and I felt my heart was not in this. Change was needed!


Moma.org, (2015) Moma | Appropriation [online] available from <http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/themes/pop-art/appropriation&gt; [29 December 2014]

Tate.org.uk, (2015) Appropriation [online] available from <http://www.tate.org.uk/learn/online-resources/glossary/a/appropriation&gt; [29 December 2014]

Wikipedia, (2015). Bubbles (painting). [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubbles_%28painting%29 [Accessed 29 Dec. 2014].

Wikipedia, (2015) Campbell’s Soup Cans [online] available from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Soup_Cans&gt; [29 December 2014]

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on December 30, 2014.

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