NYTimes: The Image Is Familiar; the Pitch Isn’t

A whole story on advertising ripping off art and no mention of Sam Ewen and Interference Inc. and Graffiti Research Lab? Passed on by Packard Jennings.

The Image Is Familiar; the Pitch Isn’t

IN February 2007 the Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay was installing a solo exhibition of his work in Paris when he received an e-mail message from a friend about a commercial for the Apple iPhone that had been broadcast during the Academy Awards show.

The 30-second spot featured a rapid-fire montage of clips from television shows and Hollywood films of actors and cartoon characters — including Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Dustin Hoffman and Betty Rubble — picking up the telephone and saying “Hello.” It ended with a shot of the soon-to-be-released iPhone.

Mr. Marclay tracked down the ad on YouTube and watched it.

“I was very surprised,” he said recently by phone from London. Like many in the art world he saw an uncanny resemblance between the iPhone commercial and his own 1995 video “Telephones,” which opens with a similar montage of film clips showing actors answering the phone. That seven-and-a-half-minute video, one of Mr. Marclay’s signature works, has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States.

About a year before, Mr. Marclay said, Apple had approached the Paula Cooper Gallery, which represents his work in New York, about using “Telephones” in an advertisement.

“I told them I didn’t want to do it,” he said. His main concern, he said, was that “advertisers on that scale have so much power and visibility” and that “everyone would think of my video as the Apple iPhone ad.”

read the rest at the NY Times site.

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  1. halvfet says:

    i heard him speak in atlanta last fall, and he briefly mentioned this in not-too-friendly adjectives.

  2. A great deal of people who work in advertising are incapable of originality.
    All they can do is steal other peoples ideas & pass them off as their own.

  3. not my name says:

    “A great deal of people” aka all.
    And the clients are even worse since they rely on ripomatics to sell them on the ideas in the first place before production.

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