9 thoughts on “Shepard Fairey’s Work Jumps the Shark”

  1. Zoinks! I guess Evan’s the only one who’s on the same wavelength as me here, so perhaps I wasn’t clear and should circle back around.

    1. The original and literal jumping of the shark was when Fonzie’s character actually jumped over a shark on water skis on “Happy Days,” i.e., an episode of the tv show, made by the same actor, producers, etc. So who creates something has no bearing on whether it has jumped the shark, other than that shark jumping is arguably more likely to take place from the original creator of the thing in question than from someone else. In this case, I would interpret that dog’s head tilt, replicating Barack Obama’s, as proof that Fairey is in on his own joke — self-parody — but that’s certainly not required.

    2. I love pet adoption. I’ve given money to shelters, etc. Everyone should adopt their pets. Proceeds of the sale of these images going to support adoption organizations = awesome. But that has zero to do with this post.

    3. The creation and distribution of this image — shark jumping or not, adoption-assisting or not — quite possibly could help Fairey in his “fair use” lawsuit with AP, where one factor under the law, maybe the most important factor, is the “purpose and character” of the new use of the original work, i.e., whether the new work has transformed the old one by adding new expression or meaning. I would say that is clearly the case here. The fact that it caused a discussion about pet adoption rather than Barack Obama is great evidence of that.


  2. Is that what Shepard is calling copyright theft nowadays – “adoption”?
    I’m pretty certain Shepard lifted (er, “adopted”) that image from a pet calendar made by Stefan Vanderhoof and Hamilton Swan.

  3. David, a couple of guys named “hoof” and “Swan” made a pet calendar? It sounds like they may have jumped the shark themselves. Are there any pet sharks in it? (Lawyers don’t count).

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