On The Rights of Molotov Man

My initial reaction to this article was to agree with the photographer wholeheartedly and to write a post about why the photographer is definitely in the right for going against the decontextualizing of her photograph. However, thinking more about it I realized that what the artist did was definitely not something that was in the wrong. What drove her to create her painting was not some obscene goal to decontexualize an important movement, but a jolt of inspiration that caused her paintbrush to move across her canvas.

The photograph itself holds much historical relevance and it’s context and social and political goals are definitely important, but what the photographer, Susan Meiselas, seems to forget is that art has the effect of inspiring other people, whether this is the original artist’s intention or not. Susan’s photograph was moving enough to cause another artist, specifically Joy Garnett, to be inspired and to try to recreate and recapture the feel of the original piece. Joy’s new piece should be seen as a brand new work of art, with a different set of goals and intentions that it hopes to achieve and Meiselas should know that once a piece of art is out in the public, whether it be a photograph or painting, that it is now free to inspire and move the public to build off of that work.

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