I guess that everyone is like Coke – suing anyone that uses the work or image without permission. Inside an art gallery, the Guggenheim Museum did not protest “back of a teenager’s notebook” drawing the turns the Bilboa Guggenheim into a battleship. But on the streets of Spain, the 2,000 square foot digital mural by Paul McCarthy and Mike Bouchet was not permitted.
Their collaboration at Portikus Gallery in Frankfurt includes mostly drawings, as well as a few sculptures, that depict museums as “self-serving mechanisms for their board members,” according to a press release. To make their point, the artists have defaced images of several famous museum facades—the New York Guggenheim Museum as a toilet bowl, for instance, or the Whitney Museum as a shoe-shine box.
In Bilbao, the museum claims that under Spanish law only it has the right to use images of the museum and therefore the artwork is an infringement of its copyright. The museum also objects to the connotations of the artwork, saying that it brings discredit to the institution. The museum asked that the banner be removed as soon as possible.
The artists have refused to do so, claiming that the image is in fact their artwork and that they are entitled to use images of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao as the basis of a new creation under copyright laws, and, moreover, given that the artwork is not on museum property, they are not under any obligation to comply with the musuem’s request.
Following the refusal of the artists to remove the mural, the owners of the building received a fax from the museum late today (April 10, 2014) demanding removal of the installation and again asserting that the use of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao image was an infringement of its copyright. The building has granted the museum’s request, artnet News has learned, and the artists have since been informed by a building representative that the mural must be removed.
From ARTNET.COM http://bit.ly/OLfKF2