Half the truth is often a whole lie !!
So goes an old 18th century proverb which could aptly be applied to this year’s 2011 AIPP Canon Photographer of the Year Award.
Not only was Melbourne photographer, Gerard O’Connor the recipient of this prestigious award but he also received $20,000 for his effort and the “Australian Fine Art Photographer of the Year” award as well for producing the following works of fine art.
But did he? Take a look !
According to a press release received this morning, it turns out these 4 works were a collaboration between Melbourne based, visual artist, Harry Rekas and Gerard O’Connor. Mr Rekas claims that the copyright of these images belongs to both himself and Mr O’Connor.
Now, perhaps the onus for due diligence by the organizers of this award is lifted by the signing of a release form. Perhaps it would be safe to presume that works being submitted by photographers are purely and wholly works completed by the photographers themselves. After all, who would be foolish enough to knowingly say they are the author of a work when it clearly has been a collaboration between photographer, digital artist and stylist.
Well, readers that is exactly what appears to have happened in this case.
Head on over to the AIPP website and you can see the full list of the 2011 Award winners.
This is not the first time that the art world has been duped by this kind of trickery but imagine if you will, what an uproar there would be and what legal ramifications would ensue if an artist was awarded the Archibald Prize for a painting executed by another artist.
According to Mr Rekas, “these works were born from a keen interest ……in political and social cartoons, and my concept of recreating these drawings photographically”. The images were photographed by Mr O’Connor and post production and photo manipulation were carried out by Mr Rekas.
The inspiration for these works can be seen in the before and after images below. As you can see substantial manipulation has been applied by Mr Rekas to these images.
Mr Rekas explains that the series of images “were influenced by the likes of American cartoonist, Robert Crumb and 18th century William Hogarth. In creating these images the depth and context spans from ideas, art direction, research, post-production, countless hours of image manipulation and detailing that give the final image its character, personality and composition”.
It will be interesting to see in the days ahead where all this will lead but surely a simple case of “give credit where credit is due” is in order, especially if someone is walking away with a cool $20,000 cash prize, not to mention kudos from being nominated top photographer and the work that will come their way as a result of winning the award.
Time to fess up !!