I create my photo-collages, using the artwork of great photographers, some famous, others totally unknown to the general public, including at times to myself.
Some people get furious with me because I “don’t have the right to use photographs without the consent of the creators”. The fact that some of these great artists can’t be asked because they have already passed away is irrelevant, since lawyers continue to stand by their bygone spirits!
Legally speaking, this is probably a well-founded argument, although in my “legal” opinion, my work is an original derivative, as is L.H.O.O.Q. by Marcel Duchamp, considered a monumental work of art of our time, despite the fact that Duchamp never bothered to ask permission of Leonardo da Vinci’s legal representatives [sic] to draw a mustache and beard in pencil on the Mona Lisa’s face, nor did he hesitate to append the title of the famous masterpiece!
“Do you compare yourself to Marcel Duchamp?”, someone recently asked me, pursuant to the above argument. “I wish I could, but that is not the point”, was my answer.
In any event, I consider all my collages, based on my “objets trouvés”, as original works of art. Blame me, curse me, sue me, or simply enjoy.