|Chuck Close’s self-portrait and Scott Blake’s self-portrait using his Chuck Close filter.|
A couple of years ago, digital artist Scott Blake created a website called FreeChuckCloseArt.com that could apply a filter to any image to make it look like one of Chuck Close’s famous pixelated paintings.
Blake was described by The New York Observer as “an up-and-comer in the art realm with a zest for digital art and a knack for ticking off Mr. Close.”
After Close asked him to take the filter down and threatened a lawsuit, he did, but the two have been responding and critiquing each other ever since.
In response to the photo filter Close said, “it may be an amusing project and many people might like it, but it is MY art that is trivialized, MY career you are jeopardizing, MY legacy, which i have to think about for my children, and MY livelihood. i must fight to protect it.” (November 2010)
Chuck Close’s paintings are unique now, but does he have the right to own the format of pixelation just because he was the first to paint that way? Blake didn’t steal one single entity, he stole a format, an idea.
If Andy Warhol were around, would he sue Apple for PhotoBooth’s pop art filter?
Photos and quotes from HyperAllergic.