From information I’m gathering on rights pertaining to using images of people without their consent, it’s looking like I probably won’t be able to show my work in a gallery setting, which is what I suspected from the start. I just refuse to become an administrator and have to take care of legal issues and try to obtain those permissions—almost a lost cause from the start considering where I’m photographing, i.e., the metro, where people are in a rush and weren’t expecting or necessarily desiring to be photographed unbeknownst to them so they’d appear most ‘natural’ while they were on their way somewhere—because of how ridiculously stringent these laws have become. I’m an artist. Period. People steal images from the internet and do whatever they want with them all the time. Things are out of control. I should be able to draw whoever the heck I want to, as long as I mean them no disrespect and am not trying to make millions of dollars off them. Celebrated photographers from the past, whose work now hangs in museums around the world would never still be recognized as brilliant masters of photography if those laws had been in place then, and if things continue, the great great great grandchildren of those subjects in those photos on the museum walls might petition for those images to be taken down and taken out of circulation, since those subjects weren’t asked for permission back then either. It’s all just totally ridiculous. I happen to be inspired by the dubious poetry of getting “intimate” with total strangers on the metro by spending hundreds of hours drawing them in a photorealistic manner. So sue me.
That’s my little war cry for today.