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.