a tale of a few cities

Licensing slip up: Velvet Underground sues over Giorgio de Chirico banana symbols

The Uncertainty of the Poet,  1913
L’Incertitude du poète

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Rock group The Velvet Underground filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to stop any future exhibition/reproduction of Giorgio de Chirico’s 1913 masterwork, The Uncertainty of the Poet.

The 1960s rock band formed by Lou Reed and John Cale accused the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico of trademark infringement, retroactively claiming in a lawsuit that the use of banana symbols are synonymous with The Velvet Underground.

Each of the bananas featured in de Chirico’s iconic artwork bare an uncanny resemblance to the banana featured on the cover of Velvet Underground’s 1967 album “The Velvet Underground and Nico.”

The fact that de Chrico’s work was created decades earlier was not mentioned in the lawsuit.

Although Velvet Underground broke up in 1973, the album later came to be regarded as one of the best albums of all time, and was also referred to as “The Banana Album”.

“The symbol has become so identified with The Velvet Underground … that members of the public, particularly those who listen to rock music, immediately recognize the use of bananas as a symbol of The Velvet Underground,” the complaint added.

The lawsuit said the aging control freaks behind the band had repeatedly asked the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico to cease all future exhibition and further reproduction of the 1913 work, The Uncertainty of the Poet.

Velvet Underground is seeking an injunction stopping the use of banana symbols by other parties, a declaration that the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico has no retroactive copyright interest in the use of banana symbols, unspecified damages and a share of previous profits made by the Fondazione Giorgio de Chirico from any licensing deals of the iconic artwork.


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My Submission to Postcards from the Edge, NYC

Peter Combe, Damien Hirst at SFMOMA, 2011 

Above is my submission to Postcards from the Edge, NYC. When I saw Andy Bosselman’s photo of San Francisco based artist, Xiang Gao outside SFMOMA – I cracked up and knew I wanted to incorporate Damien Hirst‘s noggin.

Postcards from the Edge is an exhibit and benefit sale of over 1500 one-of-a-kind postcard-size works of art by established and emerging artists. All artworks at Postcards from the Edge benefit are exhibited anonymously. The works are signed on the back only and though viewers receive a list of all participating artists, they don’t know who created which piece until purchased.

Postcards from the Edge will be hosted at Cheim & Read from January 6-8, 2012

Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue and supporting HIV+ artists.

visualAIDS

Chilling Moments in Occupy Movement’s ‘Day of Action’

Posted in Crisis, New York City, Occupy Wall Street, Photography, pictures, portraits, Reportage, surrealism by petercombe on November 18, 2011
Photograph: Randy L. Rasmussen/AP

A police officer uses pepper spray on an Occupy Portland protester at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Oregon. 

Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Brendan Watts is seen with blood on his face while surrounded by three police officers in Zuccotti Park, New York. 

Makes me think about something Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last year – “We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protesters and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces.”

 The Guardian >

Benetton is Back…

He Xiangyu, Der Tod des Marat

Posted in All is not as it seems., Art, artists, China, Exhibitions, Homage, paris, portraits, RIP, Sculpture, surrealism by petercombe on November 3, 2011

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In an edition of three, “Der Tod des Marat” (“The Death of Marat”) consists of a life-size version of ’s body laying face down on the floor, dressed in a suit. He Xiangyu, an artist represented by Beijing’s White Space Gallery and Galerie LOFT in Paris, reportedly hand-knotted actual human hair onto the plastic and fiberglass effigy to create a representation of the artist plausible enough to shock and offend unsuspecting locals. The sculpture was on view at the Künstlerhaus’s Laden No. 5 exhibition space until November 1. According to Xiangyu, the sculpture was the exhibit was intended to praise Ai’s defiant actions despite the Chinese government’s constant threats of imprisonment. Ai, who helped lead the design at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, remains one of Beijing’s most vocal and outspoken critics.

Passersby are mistaking it for a human corpse, and, not surprisingly, have already alerted local authorities. “Several people had already called within days of the exhibition going up,” said Peter Steger, a spokesman for the police in Bad Ems. A local resident also filed charges for disturbing the peace of the dead, thinking the corpse was real.

Künstlerhaus Schloß Balmoral >

A house floats in the Pacific Ocean off the Japanese coast

Posted in Photography, Reportage, surrealism by petercombe on March 15, 2011

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord / US Navy via Reuters

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A Japanese home is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean in this photograph taken on March 13, 2011 and released on March 14. Ships and aircrafts from the US Navy’s Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group are searching for survivors in the coastal waters near Sendai, Japan, in the wake of 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that officials say claimed at least 10,000 lives.

MSN’s Robert Hood says: As a picture editor, I’m exposed to thousands of news photographs each day. Images from events like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan begin to look the same. But occasionally we see one that is exceptional. For me this picture symbolizes the personal loss and epic scale of hopelessness that’s beginning to sink in.

MSN >

John Stezaker, Whitechapel, London

Posted in appropriation, Art, Collage, cut & paste, London, Photography, Photomontage, surrealism by petercombe on February 22, 2011

I’m in London at the moment and am going to take my nieces to see John Stezaker at the White Chapel Gallery. I used to live in London and am happy to see that Whitechapel is situated in the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter. London’s East End now has the highest concentration of artists in Europe.

British artist John Stezaker is fascinated by the lure of images. Taking classic movie stills, vintage postcards and book illustrations, Stezaker makes collages to give old images a new meaning. By adjusting, inverting and slicing separate pictures together to create unique new works of art, Stezaker explores the subversive force of found images. Stezaker’s famous Mask series fuses the profiles of glamorous sitters with caves, hamlets, or waterfalls, making for images of eerie beauty.

More @ Whitechapel Gallery >

Birth of Christo

Posted in Art, Birth of..., Sculpture, surrealism by petercombe on December 14, 2010

Man RayThe enigma of Isidore Ducasse, 1920 (reconstructed 1971)

LINK >

The Surreal House, London

Posted in architecture, Art, London, surrealism by petercombe on September 26, 2010

Top, ‘Au Natural’ by Sarah Lucas, 1994

Bottom, ‘Priere de Toucher‘ by Marcel Duchamp, 1947

With a full house of starry artists and wunderkammer appeal, this exhibition had all the building blocks of a sure-fire summer hit. It boasted no less than 150 works, including that of founding fathers and mothers like Louise Bourgeois, René Magritte and Hans Bellmer, alongside later scions such as Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread, film-makers Buster Keaton, Jean Cocteau and Maya Deren and architect Rem Koolhaas. Providing the literal framework, young architects Carmody Groarke set out to transform the Barbican’s galleries into a surreal house, with exhibits standing in for wobbly fittings and fixtures beginning with Marcel Duchamp‘s relief of a woman’s breast, which doubles as a doorbell. Skye Sherwin, The Guardian

LINK >

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