Plagiarism in Art / The Angry Printmaker

It came to my notice today that a former participant from one of my Drypoint Monoprint workshops has been plagiarizing my work to an alarming extent.

It made me wonder, is it unfair of me to be so exasperated by yet another pupil who does not understand the difference between  being inspired by another artist  and making outright copies without any thought for their own subject matter, concepts or technical application.

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Above left -Jenny Robinson and Nancy Mintz   Collaborative sculpture and Print.  Above right Student work

What recourse does a professional artist have, whose art is the result of  decades of  experimentation, experience, long hours of hard work in the studio, and thoughtful attention to  concepts and ideas, when others can make poor imitations of their work  and pass the ideas off as their own?

I do, truly, understand that novices often  need a starting point, and that often comes by emulating artists they admire, or who teach them. There is often a transition period where they must first feel comfortable with their chosen medium, before they can make the leap of faith they must eventually make to create their own, individual and original body of work.

The danger is, that in  replicating another’s work for too long and without much thought, the  line between copying and being inspired is crossed  and you end up with a meaningless  imitation.

Here are some recent examples, I will let you judge for yourselves!

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Above left  Jenny Robinson, section of Bay Bridge/infrastructure#1  print.  Above right Student work

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Above left   Jenny Robinson ,  Hangar 1 , Drypoint (section).  Above right Student work ( full image)

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Above Left Jenny Robinson  (section ) Ferris.  Above Right  Student version ( full Image)

ADDENDUM :To clarify, this problem has never arisen from college aged students, it is most often mature adults with an interest in art who should know better.

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About Jenny

Artist and Printmaker, based in San Francisco, California.
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2 Responses to Plagiarism in Art / The Angry Printmaker

  1. That is outrageous… So blatant that they may think it is a form of great flattery! Joseph Cornell had the same problem with Tony Curtis who proudly presented his copies to Cornell.

  2. Macy says:

    So sorry this is happening Jenny. This is blatant copying and leaves me speechless.

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