An artist friend of mine sent me a brilliant image he saw (and admired) a long time ago. He believes it was posted at Dark Roasted Blend. He can’t remember when it was posted or whose image it is. Can anyone identify and/or date it?
The reason I ask: In the issue of The New Yorker of Dec. 22 & 29, 2008, there’s an excellent illustration by Christoph Niemann for James Surowiecki’s article, “News You Can Lose,” on page 48 that, in conception, bears a striking resemblance to it. As you can see. I’m trying to find out whether this is a case similar to the copycat at work — let’s call it artistic channeling, to be charitable — or mere coincidence. Or maybe Niemann posted that image himself. Anything is possible, right?
Postscript: Dec. 29 –Turns out Dark Roasted Blend posted the image recently, not “a long time ago.” On Dec. 12, 2008, to be exact, per this response to our inquiry from DRB blogger extraordinaire Avi Abrams:
DRB has it on this page (scroll down), but we don’t know what is the original source, as it came inside anonymous email. I tried to search for it using TinEye — but it did not pick up the original either.
So could the concept for that illustration have filtered from DRB to The New Yorker just in time for the Dec. 22&29 issue? Possibly, depending on the magazine’s production schedule. But possibly not. I finally got a bright idea and asked Christoph Niemann. Am awaiting his reply.
PPS: This just in, and I’m grateful to have it, so I can do him complete justice:
Dear Jan Herman,
Thank you for your note.
Obviously it is an awkward moment to have one’s illustration displayed in the context of being conceptually similar to another picture.
Nonetheless, I can state with utter confidence that I haven’t seen the (beautiful!) photo of the person with the book before. This is certainly not the first (or last) time I have found myself in a situation like this (and I can happily state that I have been on the other side of the equation more often).
I have built my whole career on coming up with original visual ideas. This is obviously impossible, given the amount of pictures that are being constantly created. But if I even have the faintest suspicion that an idea I come up with may have been derived from a concept I saw somewhere else, I run as fast as I can and will come up with something else.
I have of course quoted art in my work (e.g. making a visual pun on the Mona Lisa or a famous Delacroix painting), but I am much too dependent on people respecting the authorship of my own work to ever take advantage of somebody else’s concepts.
Let me know if this answers your questions
Sure does. Bee-oooo-tifully.