Appropriation and it's Significance in Visual Arts

Topics: Art, Museum of Modern Art, Campbell's Soup Cans Pages: 4 (1525 words) Published: July 28, 2014


Why is appropriation a significant issue in the visual arts?


The use of appropriation in the visual arts is a significant issue due to its potential controversy and scandal. Appropriation has been a long debated, legal and ethical issue for hundreds of years. Appropriation is the act of taking a (usually) recognisable object, text or image and recontextualizing it. There has invariably been a grey area between the use of appropriation and the illegal act of plagiarism. Appropriation in art often pays homage to the work of an artist. Though sometimes, an appropriation will be interpreted differently or the artist may intend a more degrading meaning in their artwork. This degrading meaning may endeavour to be a social comment on society - which Marcel Duchamp utilised in his appropriation of La Gioconda entitled L.H.O.O.Q. By utilising the four frames of art, appropriations can be effectively analysed from different views. Each frame sets up different relationship between the agency of the conceptual framework meaning the artist, artworks, the audience and the world (Loveday. 2011). We can further analyse L.H.O.O.Q with use of the Postmodern Frame. Through use of the Structural Frame, we are also able to analyse Andy Warhol's 32 Campbell's Soup Cans. By using the Cultural Frame, we can also examine the use of appropriation within Yasumasa Morimura's appropriation of Self Portrait Dedicated To Dr. Elosser, entitled An Inner Dialogue With Frida Kahlo (Hand Shaped Earring).!


The artwork entitled L.H.O.O.Q by Marcel Duchamp can be analysed effectively with use of the Postmodern Frame. This artwork consists of a cheap postcard reproduction of the famous portrait La Gioconda by Leonardo da Vinci. Duchamp purchased this postcard and drew a comical moustache and beard onto the face of the portrait figure. He then wrote the letters L.H.O.O.Q at the bottom of the postcard. These letters make up a phonetic game - when read quickly in French,...
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