I wrote to the Letters to the Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald (if anyone still reads the print edition :-( )
These are my reflections (as "appropriation" or whatever term you use is a valid artistic procedure IMHO):
<<I hope that Getty Images and the original photographer whose work Ben Ali Ong appropriated are in agreement with Picasso's "stealing" axiom as quoted (or misquoted) by Andrew Frost.
Borrowing is certainly well established in artistic practice; in modern days Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake", Christian Marclay's "The Clock", Luciano Berio quoting Mahler in "Sinfonia", Soda Jerk's video pieces etc. However, and if the Herald's selection of Ong's images depicts them accurately, neither of them shows any evidence of the interpretation, contextualisation, or new vision that would afford the viewer any of the new insights to be found in those and many other works . They really do look like something downloaded, tarted up and merchandised using the easily employed tools of the digital age.>>