I have mixed feeling about appropriation in art. I feel, it is a form of inspiration, getting your own, “new“ idea from existing references. On the other hand, it feels lazy and deceiving. I make the distinction between the two on case by case basis; the things I consider are how much of the original work is appropriated, in what form, how much of the artist’s input is in the new piece, and what is the intention. To me, Richard Prince’s type of appropriation is unwelcome; I do not judge it and I do accept it’s existence, but I do not support it. When it comes to my work, I looked at other photographers for inspiration (imitate the light or a pose, create similar mood), but I try to come up with a “new“ idea. There is a difference when viewers say “your photographs remind me of so and so’s work“ and “your photographs are this photographer’s work.“
This photo is of a young journalist, Esther Honig. A few years ago, she sent this photo to retouchers from different countries encouraging them to alter the photo based on their countries beauty standards. This is an acceptable form of appropriation to me, initiated by the original piece creator supporting changes and giving the freedom of interpretation.
Here is the article.