Great artists steal … and then there’s fraud

I first became aware of this image appropriation flap ℅ a tweet storm yesterday and todays New York Times is running an article on it. It seems some enterprising artist launched a GoFundMe campaign to paint a community mural and then went and grabbed the image of a painting from a young womans Instagram account and tried to pass it off as his own with all sorts of noble spin.

Chicago flap tweet grab

This story is so wrong on so many levels. All artists are sponges picking up bits and pieces from their environment and/or thieves who pillage art history, and everything is fair game. But wholesale reproduction of an existing piece and making up a little story about how you came upon the inspiration is fraud. And raising $11K in a GoFundMe campaign to pay yourself for the fraud? Inexcusable.

Painting posted on Instagram by artist Gelila Mesfin

Painting posted on Instagram by artist Gelila Mesfin

I’m about to load up a couple of Instagram accounts with some of my recent work so reading about stuff like pushes all my hesitation buttons. I hope that the GoShameMe retaliation is the parallel antidote to shenanigans like this.

 

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Drawing Critters at the Zoo

Golden Lion Tamarin - quick sketch

Golden Lion Tamarin – quick sketch

A good friend took it upon herself to organize a casual drawing group to do on-site sketching at Woodland Park Zoo this past weekend. How could I resist an event dubbed, ‘Drawing Critters in the Zoo’? We had a fortuitous break in the weather, which allowed us to draw inside and out.

Sliceable concentration in the presence of three Colobus Monkeys - Drawing Critters Group

Sliceable concentration in the presence of three Colobus Monkeys – Drawing Critters Group

I had been planning to bring the usual overload of media choices but was running behind. As I result I only grabbed the bare minimum, my trusty iPad and Apple pencil, and hoped for the best. This combo turned out to be ideal. The light outside wasn’t too bright and we were always picking up and moving to the next enclosure, so using the iPad I could quickly stow it and not worry about pencil smearing, etc. I posting here just a few of the many that I did in a few hours of strolling around.

Colobus Monkey sketch - coloration is black and white

Colobus Monkey sketch – coloration is black and white

Toucan - a bird designed possibly by a cartoonist

Toucan – a bird designed possibly by a cartoonist

Gorilla vignettes - Sunday breakfast

Gorilla vignettes – Sunday breakfast

The only program I used when doing these was Procreate for iPad, whose natural media effects make it a great choice for sketching. And if you want to share them later online, it makes it easy to do.

Penguin vignettes - in and out of water

Penguin vignettes – in and out of water

Super fun, although a sunny Sunday morning makes for a somewhat crowded experience. Thanks to Cyn for pulling this together.

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‘Standing in the Sound’ – at Beacon Hill Fresh Flours Cafe

'Standing in the Sound' - R Williamson, 4/2017

‘Standing in the Sound’ – R Williamson, 4/2017

I’ll be swapping out some of the paintings at the current little show at Fresh Flours on Beacon Hill (Seattle) sometime in the next two days. The space there is so limited that the things that I first brought to hang now seem too wide. I found a narrow glass panel and painted a new version of this still figure just for the occasion – ‘Standing in the Sound’.

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Britches – at Art Share L.A., April 20, ’17

'Britches' - digital drawing; R Williamson

‘Britches’ – digital drawing; R Williamson

Britches was the name given to a baby macaque monkey who was among the many liberated from an animal research lab in Riverside, California back on April 20 in 1985. The brutal and inhumane nature of the treatment of this poor creature drew public attention to the types of experiments that were being done in the name of vivisection. In the case of Britches they included eyes crudely sutured shut, a sensor tied on top of his bandaged head, total separation from his mother, left alone in a small cage while being given a loud audio pulse every few minutes.

The real Britches, upon his rescue - grabbed from an online video

The real Britches, upon his rescue – grabbed from an online video

My friend and past associate, David Walega, is founder of Art for Animals Sake which brings together animal welfare causes and art for underserved populations in and around Los Angeles. He invited me to participate in a little show the will commemorate this little guy and the cause that surrounds him. The reception for the show will take place on April 20 at Art Share L.A. at 801 E. 4th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90013, probably in the early evening but I’m not sure. All funds raised from the sale of prints goes to fund the organization.

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Bodies In Water – now at Fresh Flours on Beacon Hill, Seattle

'Standing on the Bottom', R Williamson 3/17

‘Standing on the Bottom’, R Williamson 3/17

I”ve moved some of the pieces from my most recent show at Lighthouse Roasters to a small new coffee house on Beacon Hill in Seattle. Fresh Flours now has a location a block away from the Sound Transit Link station.

Fresh Flours on Beacon Hill, through the end of May, 2017

Fresh Flours on Beacon Hill, through the end of May, 2017

This cafe has only two small walls to display pictures on, so I kept it to four pieces total for now. Depending on the response, I plan to swap out some of them with a few new things that fit in the same subject/feeling by the end of April.

The exact location is 1624 S McClellan St., Seattle WA 98144. Open 6am – 6pm every day.

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