Stop thief!
July 12, 2003 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Stop thief! Put down the brush. Step away from the breasts. Theft and plagiarism in the art world is nothing new. What happens when it involves the world of modern pin-up fetish/hardcore art, dueling pin-up artists, and a sticker company interested in profit from the fallout? [Links NSFW]
posted by jca (23 comments total)
Bah, both of them copy from Playboy and Bettie Page, and I doubt either one has paid Pamela Anderson for her contribution to their works.

I'd have to say Huerta is the better artist of the two though, and his gallery is a lot more explicit (and occasionally disturbing, there is some freaky stuff in there). I like this one best. :)

I found a good music track thanks to Huerta, too: Ladytron - Seventeen.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:26 PM on July 12, 2003

eh. I'll take Garv any day over these poseurs.
posted by soyjoy at 6:29 PM on July 12, 2003

Why don't they just sue?
posted by Blue Stone at 6:38 PM on July 12, 2003

Are those works supposed to be attractive or erotic? They come off as really outlandish. Just what does one do with such a portrait? Airbrush it on the side of their badass van? Put it up in the rumpus room where you and the boys play poker every week? Open up an art museum called The Maxim Museum of Art and feature them?
posted by mathowie at 8:19 PM on July 12, 2003

Man, I used to have some of those "Double Impact" comics. Not exactly heavy on plot. Check out Kevin Taylor's impossibly proportioned women.
posted by owillis at 9:08 PM on July 12, 2003

Somebody wasn't breast fed as a baby and never quite got over the lack of 'bonding time' with mommy's 'big uns'.

I'm sorry I've seen a lot of pieces that can be loosely defined as art, at best, but I've just never gotten erotica or fetishist artwork as legitimate work.
posted by Noelle at 9:36 PM on July 12, 2003

Noelle: Can you define "legitimate work" for me with regards to art?

Personally, I think it's a mistake to dismiss something as unworthy of being called "art" because you don't "get it" or don't find the subject matter "attractive" and so on. It's the same kind of thinking and arguments used by conservatives to attack things like the NEA. Now I'm not trying to invoke fetish pin-up art in that vain, but I'd never dismiss something as not being "legitimate" because of subject matter or the scope of it's appeal, audience, etc.
posted by jca at 9:53 PM on July 12, 2003

I honestly wasn't trying to force my definition of art on anyone and I'm sorry if it came across that way. I met Jane Hamilton, former president of the NEA, when she spoke at my graduation when I got my BFA cum laude in sculpture so I'm pretty aware of the arguments you're talking about. I wasn't trying to come across as an 'authority' in this it was just my personal opinion on this *one* form of art. That's all. So please don't assume that just because I don't "get it" I'm going to go lobby against Mapplethorpe alongside Jesse Helms or something. I'm just saying I don't like that particular style. I never said "My tax money shouldn't go to this" or that these tits painted as if they exist in a vaccuum space represent the devil or any such nonsense - I just said I didn't get this one particular artform.

I'll admit though I probably would have been annoyed if someone had posted the same thing about non-representational art so sorry if my personal opinion on the style came out that way.

However, regardless of how I feel about art in general and and an artist's right to expression I *still* am allowed to not like it.
posted by Noelle at 10:29 PM on July 12, 2003

one person's art is another's _____. when at the louvre in may i encountered a whole room of portraits of painting monkeys. i wish i would have written down the artist's name.

perhaps in a few centuries these girlie illustrations will be studied in art history class. perhaps not.
posted by birdherder at 10:30 PM on July 12, 2003

Definitely not. No more than Hallmark verse will be studied in poetry programs.

The problem with these illos is not that they are 'dirty', but that they are sentimental, the way illustrations of cute kittens or quaint old barns or sweet little angels on Christmas cards are sentimental. All are intended to push one button, and one button only. All are composed of well-worn images, depicted by well-worn techniques. They are technically very accomplished, but lack any trace of originality or depth.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 10:55 PM on July 12, 2003

Noelle: Wasn't saying any of those things you mentioned. Just asking to explain your opinion. I don't like some of the work either, but I'd support it without question if it came down to someone defining it as "not legitimate". I think a lot of people agree with your viewpoint - even Matt doesn't seem to like it. :)

Back to the original posting: It's always sad when someone has their work stolen because they are naive (and in this case, because they don't speak English) and to see others trying to make a profit from both sides of the argument.
posted by jca at 11:02 PM on July 12, 2003

While the pin-ups don't hold too much artistic merit, I would say it is still an artistic endevor, if only to amplify the erotic/fetish airbrush effect of the modern Playboy aesthetic. And hey— if it pays the bills...

I have to admit that Huerta has a great technique, and he doesn't appear to be a big phony like that other guy.
posted by Down10 at 11:54 PM on July 12, 2003

They're all stealing from the master himself anyway.

Some of Carralero's and Huerta's stuff is also ripped from Olivia, but she's only riffing on Vargas and Bettie's portraits too.
posted by Cerebus at 12:01 AM on July 13, 2003

Oh, and if anyone dares say Vargas wasn't an artist, me and him are gonna have words. 8)
posted by Cerebus at 12:02 AM on July 13, 2003

Definitely not. No more than Hallmark verse will be studied in poetry programs.

I don't know. People scrutinize paleolithic fertility goddess pictures and figures, believing they provide some insight into the mind of the artist, the culture he came from, even human psychology in general. I've always looked at art like this (we'll call it art for now) as well as the popularity of people like Marilyn Monroe, Anna Nicole Smith as simply the elevation of a modern fertility goddess. What's the difference, besides the particular proportions that happen to be vogue at the time?
posted by Hildago at 12:08 AM on July 13, 2003

birdherder: You are my new hero for that link.

Monkeys! With! Paintbrushes!
posted by Katemonkey at 1:51 AM on July 13, 2003

Where's the celery?
posted by stavrogin at 6:28 AM on July 13, 2003

What, no mention of Sorayama?
posted by Fofer at 7:58 AM on July 13, 2003

While Vargas certainly had good timing and his work in the pin-up field is impressive, I wouldn't claim that Armando Huerta is stealing from Vargas, just using his style.

Of course if this website is accurate, Carralero is blatantly stealing Huerta's work, not just using his style
posted by DBAPaul at 9:53 AM on July 13, 2003

I'd put Gil Elvgren ahead of Vargas any day. :)
posted by jca at 10:05 AM on July 13, 2003

You think this is bad? Plagiarism is rampant in the Dogs-Playing-Poker genre. And don't even get me started on the bitchy infighting among velvet Elvis painters.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:41 AM on July 13, 2003

Step away from the breasts.

Hmm, around here, that's asking a lot.
posted by y2karl at 12:35 PM on July 13, 2003

What's with all the boobies links - is fark down or something?

Oh, that's right...
posted by spazzm at 1:45 PM on July 13, 2003

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