The world of photography has lost an icon. Press agency Phaidon is reporting that, after a long battle with cancer, Magnum photographer René Burri passed away earlier today at the age of 81. Read more…
Annie Leibovitz is one of the most iconic portrait photographers of our time, and in this video we get to hear a young version of the 63-year-old photography legend talk about her past and her hopes for a future that is now her present.
From Richard Prior to the Rolling Stone cover of John Lennon that was taken the day Lennon was killed, Leibovits speaks about some of her most iconic photographs. Photographs that, at the time, weren’t quite so far in her past.
(via ISO 1200)
Don McCullin is known the world over for his incredible work as a photojournalist. His powerful and moving photography of devastation and suffering in Cyprus, The Congo, Vietnam and many others have won him worldwide acclaim as one of the greatest ever.
And now, for those who don’t know about his life’s work, or really anybody who wants to see what being one of the most prolific (and perhaps most haunted) photojournalists of our time means, the documentary ‘McCullin’ is here to fill you in. Read more…
Artist Alan Belcher is known for pioneering a genre of art known as “photo-object” in which the disciplines of photography and sculpture are fused and explored in different ways. His latest piece is titled “_____.jpg”, and consists of 125 ceramic sculptures of the ubiquitous Apple JPG icon. Each one was manufactured in China and then signed, numbered, and dated. They’re currently on display at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Manhattan. You can see a close-up view of the tile here.
Korda was on assignment as a photographer for the publication, Revolucion. He snapped the photo on a whim, capturing Guevara’s intense, upward gaze in a brief moment. Korda later told interviewers, “It was not planned, it was intuitive.”
A fashion photographer by trade, Korda returned to the darkroom and cropped the originally horizontal photo in order to draw attention to the now iconic steely visage of the leader.
However, at first, Korda’s photo fell to the wayside, and was not published for another five months until it was run as a largely unnoticed file photo.
Seven years later, following Guevara’s death, Fidel Castro requested a photo of the leader on a poster, which was printed on a poster in Italy. Demand for the image rose in the commercial market as well, and the Italian businessman who produced the first print went on to sell over a million copies without artist attribution.
Since then, the image has become one of the most widely reproduced images in history, establishing a cultural memory and a posthumous brand.
According to the Observer, Korda’s work, at the time was not legally protected since Cuba did not recognize copyright. This meant that anyone and everyone could use the image, which contributed to the photo’s worldwide proliferation and iconic quality: the image itself has become a brand, reprinted on clothing, banners, and even on Cuban currency.
Korda received no compensation or royalties from his image.
The photographer eventually sued Smirnoff in 2000 for what he believed was a fundamental violation of Guevara’s political beliefs and an insult to his memory when the vodka company used the image in a magazine ad. Korda won, and the case also awarded him rights to his image.
In recent years after Korda’s death in 2001, Korda’s daughter, Diana Díaz, has launched copyright battles against companies she feels also abuse the image for use in advertisement. A notably ironic twist: Díaz agreed to sell licenses to “Che” branded products (the clothing, berets, etc.) in order to finance her legal pursuits.
Nevertheless, during his suit against Smirnoff Korda stated,
As a supporter of the ideals for which Che Guevara died, I am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world…
Díaz’s copyright suits are similar to the AP’s case against artist Shepard Fairey, which addresses the use and reproduction of a photographic image to use as a marketing brand without the photographers’ consent.
What are your thoughts on the use and copyright status of this iconic photograph?
(via The Observer)