Gilbert and George copy or steal from Steve Bloom?
Gilbert and George copy or steal my work
‘Good artists copy. Great Artists steal’ – Pablo Picasso (allegedly)
Renowned artists Giblet and Gorge took thirteen postcards of my photograph of London’s Houses of Parliament at sunset and arranged them …on a piece of paper. I took the photograph more than a quarter of a century ago and it has since been sold millions of times on postcards at tourist outlets in London. I have not received royalties for this usage.
Giblet and Gorge bought thirteen of the cards, arranged them in a silly configuration, and advertised their ‘collage’ for sale through the White Cube Gallery, for about twenty thousand pounds. They called it ‘Pink and Blue’, a reference to my colour scheme. They say the postcards were arranged to show “an angulated version of the sign of urethra”.
The general argument put forward by the art community is that such works are derivative, found objects arranged to create a new meaning and therefore a new copyright exists in the name of the artist.
My view is that the artwork would have been a blank sheet of paper without my intellectual input and therefore is a breach of my copyright.
During the 1950s my parents, who were anti-apartheid activists, knew Nelson Mandela. I remember the story he told them about the occasion he saw a white woman standing next to her broken car in Johannesburg. He approached her and offered to help. After fiddling with the engine he fixed the car. Thankful for his help, she offered to pay him sixpence.
“Oh no, that’s not necessary,” he said, “I am only too happy to help.”
“But why else would you, a black man, have done that if you did not want money?” she asked quizzically.
“Because you were stranded at the side of the road,” he replied.
Nelson Mandela acted in a charitable way while simultaneously making the woman aware of her own racism. It is a story I will never forget. He gave so much, in so many ways.
Here are some of my photos from the 1970s, during the time of rising dissent against apartheid.
Ask anybody well-travelled through Africa and they’ll be hard pressed to choose between the Serengeti migration and trekking to see mountain gorillas as their most memorable wildlife experience. With the introduction of a new flight between the Serengeti and Entebbe, you can now easily combine these two exceptional wildlife experiences.
Staying at Serengeti Wilderness Camp, you’ll be in the most perfect location to witness the annual wildebeest migration – a travelling buffet for the Serengeti’s predators as the wildebeest make their treacherous journey north, into the Masai Mara. For photographers this wildlife phenomenon is fertile ground yet with such frenetic activity, it is not always easy to capture the spectacle on camera.
With one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished photographers on hand you will receive all the tuition you need to make the most of the migration’s photographic potential and return home with shots you will be proud to show off.
After the adrenalin of the migration, you will be transported to Bwindi to experience one of the most humbling and serene wildlife encounters in the world – an hour spent with endangered mountain gorillas. While Steve will be with you to advise on best angles, exposure and composition, make sure you take the time to put your camera down to just enjoy the moment.
For more information on photographic holidays, wildlife safaris and primate holidays to Uganda, please call Steppes Africa travel specialists on 01285 64 33 33. More information here.
If you have ever fancied a photographic trip to the wilds of Africa, why not join Steve for an incredible experience photographing Tanzania’s abundant wildlife? The Tanzanian Photo Tour is organised by the independent company Better Moments, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. They have invited Steve to lead one of their spectacular tours. This event is for photographers of all levels, from amateurs to the more advanced. We will set out to exploit the best photographic opportunities, while Steve will be at hand to offer help and guidence, no matter what of your level of experience.
The tour runs from 17-14 October 2013. There are only a limited number of places, so book now to secure a place on this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Steve Bloom has partnered with The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in this, the bi-centenary of explorer David Livingstone’s birth, for a tour of regional UK arts centres and theatres in early 2013.
Join him as he journeys through the diversity of Africa, capturing the essence of its colours and cultures in this exciting live theatre presentation in which he articulates the challenges faced by Africa’s people and environment in the 21st century. He shares with the audience this extraordinary continent; through landscapes from desert to jungle, dynamic wildlife, and human life from remote villages to teeming metropolis.
Hear his experiences making the books Living Africa and Trading Places, the Merchants of Nairobi. See silverback mountain gorillas deep in the Congolese rainforest; the tallest sand dunes in the world; the remote tribes of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley; endangered black rhino drinking at a moonlit waterhole; Mozambican migrant workers toiling in a gold mine three kilometres below ground; a wildebeest calf in the moments after its birth; pilgrims in the ancient rock-hewn churches of northern Ethiopia; an impala in the dramatic instant of its death, and fishermen on the Niger River at dawn. In this unforgettable event, Steve captures the diversity of the continent where he grew up, and where he has felt compelled to return throughout his life.
Thursday March 21 at 8pm Living Africa - TURNER SIMS, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
In separate events, Steve will be presenting a lecture at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University, as well as the prestigious Photovoice lecture at London’s Kings Place in April, covering his work in South Africa in the 1970′s, through to photography in contemporary Africa.
Monday April 29 – Africa – KINGS PLACE LONDON - PHOTOVOICE LECTURE
Thanks to all who came to the Bath Festival for Childrens Literature. The Holburne Museum was a fantastic venue to present the pictures, surrounded by original Turners, Gainsboroughs, Constables among others.
Steve Bloom is off on another expedition, this time to see the animals living near the freezing poles: polar bears, penguins, whales and seals. The book follows Steve’s journey as he finds out how these animals survive day to day. His on-location account and dramatic photography make for an exciting commentary. Each key animal polar bear, whale, penguin, albatross and seal appears in a 3 4-spread photograph and a close-up box feature that introduces facts. There are feature boxes throughout, with tips for children who want to take their own photos of animals, and at the back of the book there are two spreads further explaining how to photograph animals in the wild or at home.
The lions had killed an elephant at Savute, Botswana and were very thirsty after eating all night. There was a lot of tension at the waterhole and the elephants kept chasing the lions away. When lions are hungry or deperate enough they will kill elephants. The killing took place in the middle of the night and the lions came to the water in the early morning shortly after sunrise. I had to elevate myself high in order to prevent the rock in the foreground from obstructing the view of the lions, so was standing on my toes on the seat of the Landrover, hand holding a 300mm lens. When I reach 5000 page likes on Facebook a random person will receive a signed copy of my book Elephant!
Follow internationally bestselling photographer Steve Bloom as he travels across continents in search of wildlife. Find out how big-cat predators live and the challenges photographing them. Bloom’s in-the-field account makes a compelling narrative which is both informative and pacy. An event full of amazing pictures and stories from around the world, suited to both adults and children.
Steve Bloom is an internationally renowned photographer, traveller and author. He has published many titles for both adults and children. His books include Spirit of the Wild, Living Africa, Elephants for Children, My Favourite Animal Families, and his latest book, My Big Cats Journal.