Monday, June 22, 2015

An image falls in the forest

The following image was posted by @ishotkatemoss on instagram yesterday with the description, tags and comments below:

Let keep it clean: it's not only father's day but today is the International Day of Yoga. So we revisit kate, Sotheby’s and @marcquinnart in a blog post at #ishotkatemoss #katemoss #marcquinn #yoga #sculpture #hose #hosedown #clean #sothebys #fathersday #internationaldayofyoga #observe #slowdown #shoot #submit

  • ishotkatemoss Images from @100frederik @zacknach @ed.butler @cassius_jae @lauenreich @marierousseaunyu @maisonangelic @maugalvan
  • ishotkatemoss Plus additional images in blog post from @lizny3 @grantgoldman3 @rlowkes and @kaitlinkaitlinkaitlinkaitlin   

By mid-afternoon, 9 hours after submitting the image and description to instagram, the post had the grand total of 25 'likes'. Then a comment came through and a discussion ensued:
  • zacknach@ishotkatemoss I do not give consent for you to steal my photos for "your" nonsense. I want this removed. Top center photo is mine.
  • ishotkatemoss@zacknach There is no commercial purpose to the reposting and all images are in the public domain when posted to instagram, which is part of the point of the commentary i.e that we have little control over our images. This is why the photos are credited. Read the blog to understand the discussion around copyright use and artistic appropriation, which we address at length. Also ask yourself 'Did @marcquinnart give you permission to photograph his sculpture?' Please feel free to email us at if you have any additional feedback
  • zacknach@ishotkatemoss they are not public domain to repost as your own. Reread the terms of agreements and you will see that you need explicit consent to repost another users copyrighted information. Further, commercial or not, I do not approve of your message and want this removed or I will report.
  • zacknach@ishotkatemoss to quote the guidelines: "You own the photos and videos you post on Instagram. We ask that you respect other members of the Instagram community and don’t share content that isn’t yours."
  • ishotkatemoss@zacknach Not posting as our own but giving full credit. That being said, we will repost an updated image later today reflecting on your feedback. Please follow the project as one topic we investigate is appropriation in the digital age.

We went back to review zacknach's original post ... the image had 15 'likes', one of which was in fact from ishotkatemoss. This all raises a series of interesting questions and allowed us to reflect further on the role of images, public display and 'sharing', the idea of ownership in the digital age, and the construct of digital acknowledgement and cross-promotion (you see, a number of the other credited photographers were actually members of the ishotkatemoss post 'likes'). 

Would this instagram post and conversation have been of interest if in fact the post did not have any other people credited? And more importantly,  if an image from 6 weeks ago, that originally had so few views and affirmation, falls in the 20 billion image forest of instagram, will anyone see it?

Then another comment came through, to which we responded:
  • everymanespresso Sue me. 
  •  ishotkatemoss@everymanespresso Memories of the city coming after the best coffee shop in NY ... People only go after the greats i.e Everyman and Richard Prince! One day we may join such esteemed company

Now, this is important as you see @everymanespresso isn't just your ordinary instagram user ... run by Sam Penix, Everyman Espresso is widely known as one of, if not, the greatest coffee shop in NYC. And you see Sam, was sued by the not-so-fair City of New York, not due to the tattoo on his knuckles but the fact that the image of his tattoo was used as the store logo and apparently impinged on the city's trademark ... 

Sam's tattoo Photo: Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times
Unfortunately, this isn't a joke with a good punch line! Read the NYTimes article from May 2013. So, dear readers, let's all celebrate honorable and open artistic expression and dialogue with a coffee at Everyman.

For more interesting information and conversation about images in the public domain, spurred on recently by a certain exhibition, search on the web for "Richard Prince, instagram" or start by having a look at this article in Vulture.
And in honor of zacknach, we have submitted the following video as our latest instagram post:
An image falls in the instagram forest: in honor of zacknach's comments from the last post, we have created a work of (non-commercial) art, inspired by and utilizing images from those credited below. Please read all about it today at and feel free to comment - the debate is important and part of the point of this project #ishotkatemoss #katemoss #marcquinn #yoga #sculpture #hose #hosedown #clean #sothebys #complaints #noncommercial #appropriation #richardprince #copyright #credit #image #forest #observe #slowdown #shoot #submit 

  • ishotkatemoss Caffeinated by @everymanespresso. In addition to zacknach, inspired (and utilizing images) by @100fredrik @ed.butler @cassius_jae @laurenreich @marierousseaunyu @maisonangelic @maugalvan plus @marcquinnart and @richardprince1234

And, to prove we hold no grudge, if you would like to see zacknach's photography, please visit:
And Zack, we really think you should: Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Let's Keep it Clean

For those that may be unaware, today is not only Father's Day, but it is the first ever International Day of Yoga. To mark the day we reminisce about another strange yogic event:

Our tale begins a touch over a month ago, when there was a strange happening on the streets of NY ...
Instagram photos from: @lizny3 and @grantgoldman3
Moving to the Upper East Side, was a certain yogi ... the Marc Quinn sculpture - the aptly titled 'Myth (Fortuna)' was coming to auction at Sotheby's at York Ave. & 71st St. in mid-May.

Lot 544 of Sotheby's Contemporary Art auction
Now, if the photos don't give you a sense of scale, let us specify the dimensions of the myth that is kate: Myth (Fortuna) is approximately 108 by 101 by 98 inches or for those more used to the metric system that would be 274.3 x 256.6 x 249 cms. So roughly 8.25 feet or call it 2.5 meters high, wide and long!!! This is not a small kate ...

From the Sotheby's catalogue:
"Myth (Fortuna) is an exquisite example of artist Marc Quinn’s renowned series of sculptures sculpted after supermodel Kate Moss. These reincarnations of Moss are a tribute to both the celebrity herself as well as the female body – a fixation among artists since the dawn of time. In the present work, Kate’s body is configured into an alarming back-bending yoga pose where her legs are hyper-extended backwards over her shoulders. This contortion places the subject into a fascinating realm where Kate’s body is both grotesque yet mythical at the same time."

Quinn's sculpture,  cast in bronze and painted over with a smooth layer of white paint, was created in 2007 and is incised with the artist's signature, title, date (2007) and edition (number 1 of 3). It was acquired by Sotheby's directly from the artist in 2008.
And Sotheby's estimate for Lot 544 of the 2015 Contemporary Art auction? A cool $800,000 to $1,200,000 for you to house Myth in your living room or back garden ... P.S. don't forget to add your buyer's premium, applicable taxes and shipping.

Now, our man in Havana told us that upon arrival the Sotheby's staff realized the piece was not going to be able to make its way into the showroom to be housed, due to its size. As such, it was determined that kate, her flexibility and her crotch would peer across York Ave. to all passers by. While this led to some distracted drivers and a few overly excited mutts - who would have tried to lift their legs to pee on kate, if it weren't for the around-the-clock security guard - there was another issue that came to light in the lead up to the auction ... the need to be cleaned due to NY dirt, dust and grime.

While ishotkatemoss was not present to witness the happenings, given our new-found instagram presence we managed to be made aware of not only kate's move to Sotheby's but also her primping and preening via other social-media users. Therefore, just before the May 13th auction, a well decked-out gentleman proceeded to take on the dirty job: 
Instagram photos from: @100fredrik, @zacknach, @ed.butler, @cassius_jae, @laurenareich, @marierousseaunyu, @maisonangelic,  and @maugalvan
In honor of all of these cleaning efforts, we posted 6 weeks ago - on Mother's Day - the following picture, that was so ably captured by @rlowkes with our caption: 
It's Mother's Day people ... let's keep it clean
So, a belated happy Mother's Day to all mothers! And of course: Happy Father's Day today to all of the fathers! A happy International Day of Yoga to all of the yogis! Plus happy cleaning to all of the cleaners, window washers, housekeepers and chimney sweeps - we are incredibly thankful for all of your hard work ... particularly when you have to scrub in those hard to reach, nooks and crannys. 

Oh, and a happy auction bidding to all of the wealthy art buyers out there ...
Epilogue: the sculpture was a pass with no-one choosing to purchase Quinn's kate from Sotheby's. It seems as though one million USD - like kate's sculptural crotch - is a touch high, although we may have another chance when kate and her appendages swings around again.

We were disappointed when learning about the lack of sale as interviewing the buyer would have been fascinating ... If it was possible to add in a frowny-faced yogi contorted emoji right here, iskm would! Instead we will leave you with this deep and important final instagram reflection from @kaitlinkaitlinkaitlinkaitlin:

Observe. Slown Down. Shoot. Submit.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The face of a woman

What inspired me to create more than 500 variations on the face of a woman?” 
 A question posed by Italian designer, Piero Fornasetti of himself or was it asked by ishotkatemoss?

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.