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  1. #1

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    Is this plagiarism or homage?

    I felt I needed to share some work by an individual on Flickr which I think raises some difficult questions about homage/plagiarism of style. This is concerning the photographer Todd Hido:

    Car/house - http://www.flickr.com/photos/1507750...in/photostream ------ http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VMRH8j_fbu...0/hido-car.jpg
    House - http://www.flickr.com/photos/1507750...in/photostream ------ http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EDCfsHWuKF...hido-house.jpg
    Portrait - http://www.flickr.com/photos/1507750...in/photostream ------ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2LFAPtNlDO...o-portrait.jpg
    Car window landscape - http://www.flickr.com/photos/1507750...in/photostream ------ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y6lCCVexFP...-landscape.jpg

    If you look at the stream in general you'll start to get a better idea.
    It's important to note the rain on the window in the landscape, which is the aesthetic that marks this series of images by the photographer.
    There is another portrait where the subject is blatantly wearing a wig - something Hido has incorporated into many of his own images.

    Firstly, as someone commenting on one of the images speculated, a small part of me wonders whether this is Todd Hido himself and these are in fact outtakes. Perhaps he is using Flickr to test the water with his less successful images. Then again, they certainly aren't as well seen or technically accomplished, but the locations are very similar - if not the same places. There is also the possibility that this person could be studying under the photographer, but I'd still have to question why they are uploading without a tag or reference to Hido.

    I'd hope this isn't read as an attack on the person, but this kind of unabashed imitation leaves me perplexed. Is the uploader aware? Is it coincidence? Some kind of college project on forgery? Or is it the originator playing around? Personally I think the last linked image equals Hido's work in quality, which makes me wonder if the uploader is selling/exhibiting. Not to turn into an art detective, but I've recently seen what look like fake Hido prints on eBay.

    We often see legions of photographers imitating Michael Kenna's style, but I feel with this work being conceptually led and personal to the original artist, it's a somewhat different matter.
    Last edited by batwister; 07-18-2012 at 03:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I've seen many photographers / painters come closer than that to another artist's work... Didn't Picasso say something along the lines of 'good artists copy, great artists steal'?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    Didn't Picasso say something along the lines of 'good artists copy, great artists steal'?
    He was a prankster.

    It's more the psychological aspect of seeking out these locations, waiting for the right type of light and atmospheric conditions - using the same camera and film. A painter simply picks up a brush.

  4. #4

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    Ha. This Hido guy seems to have ripped off my style, except in colour. So there you go.

  5. #5

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    Michael... We all have egos, but come on.

    If it was only the houses or the portraits, fair enough, but he's imitated every series the photographer has done to date, with the same approach. The same type of houses with those single illuminated windows - in the same type of neighbourhood, the same vernacular landscapes through rain drops on the car window, the portraits of 'girl next door' type models in empty rooms lit by the window. It scares me that he clearly hires these models to fulfill his fantasy.

  6. #6

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    I try not to look at any work of others'. Paranoid that I will assimilate styles, unconciously or otherwise. My own, true style, although quite possibly trash, is at least true and therefore of more value to me, if not to the collector.

    s-a
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

  7. #7
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I say it is neither, it is laziness. I have seen more copies and ripoffs of Ansel Adams than I care to count. He is undoubtedly copying Hido's style, but they are his own images. This is not plagairism since he is not photographing a Hido print and putting his own name on it. If Hido feels he is being plagiarized, then he can pursue this himself.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  8. #8
    CGW
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    Since we're already in a somewhat strange place with this, have a look at this story and these works:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/ma...pagewanted=all

  9. #9
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I will have to look up Hido, don't know him at all....don't get out much! I did like that last shot of the track through the foggy/wet window.

  10. #10
    CGW
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    Could be the old "herd of independent minds" thing, could be "studies" by the artist that led to a final version, might be simple emulation of a style. I'm not seeing anything especially profound in the images--or an ethical/property issue--sorry!

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