Monday, November 12, 2007

The Copyright Stuff?

Copyright, branding, and corporate identity have become subjects for artistic composition from this show in Paris to the current ©Murakami MOCA show in LA. I went to see this blockbuster-style show from the Japanese master of Superflat-style art over the weekend, but I'm not sure what to make of the fact that one room was entirely devoted to Murakami's product lines from plastic toy figures to t-shirts while another one on the second floor relegated its viewing space to a Murakami-themed showroom for Louis Vuitton products. One entire canvas was actually devoted to LV logos.

Of course, I had to like the fact that the catalog was designed by recent UC Irvine guest Lorraine Wild. And the way that the artist played on themes of borrowing and appropriation Warhol-style was also interesting, although he chose imagery that was solidly in the public domain from Edo-era decorative arts, Buddhist iconic imagery, and representations of a Zen monk illustrating a koan.

On the digital media front, there were bootleg videos of Murakami's video for Kanye West on YouTube (almost certain to soon be pulled down), but it looks like both parties have been careful to police for copyright violations on their "exclusive" collaboration.

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