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NYT Touts White House Artworks, Misses Obvious Copy, Apparent Fraud (Freeper Breaks the Story)
Freeper Investigation ^ | 10-7-09 | Freeper

Posted on 10/08/2009 12:05:05 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed

Yesterday, the NYT ran a story about the White House acquiring art. It included a slide show of a dozen artworks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/arts/design/07borrow.html?_r=1

This Freeper took a look and found one abstract work he admired:

"Watusi (Hard Edge)," by Alma Thomas, a longtime Washington resident who is an African-American painter. Photo: Gift of Vincent Melzac/Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

As I admired it, I thought it reminiscent, even derivative of a favorite artwork of mine by Matisse. I recall seeing that one decades ago at the Tate Gallery in London. A giant collage (about ten feet tall) from late in Matisse's life, when his eyesight was failing:

The Snail (L'escargot), by Henri Matisse, Nice-Cimiez, Hotel Regina, [summer 1952-early] 1953, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white paper, 9'4 3/4" x 9' 5" (287 x 288 cm) collection Tate Gallery, London.

I had planned to post them for comparison, and to share my admiration for both. But when I saw them side-by-side, the similarity clarified. I realized that the new one was EXACTLY the same composition as the Matisse, rotated 90 degrees.

Is this fraud? If the new piece has been titled "Homage to Collage" or "Matisse in Blue", I would think the artist wasn't trying to hide the copying. But I wonder whether anyone realized that the artist copied almost every aspect of a famous work to sell her artwork. Perhaps everyone involved knew that this is a re-colored reprint. If not, it seems to be an embarrassment for the "sophisticates" who failed to spot a copy hiding in plain sight.

As too many people say about abstract expressionist art: "Even I could have done THAT!"


TOPICS: Arts/Photography
KEYWORDS: art; figures; friendsofobama; frinthenews; matisse; plagiarism; ripoff; watusi
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To: jagusafr

that is funny. they aren’t old enough to be in grad school yet.


51 posted on 10/08/2009 12:23:35 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: Beelzebubba

Side by side..........

52 posted on 10/08/2009 12:23:49 PM PDT by Red Badger (The Zero has more airtime than Michael Jordan...........)
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To: Beelzebubba

Just like the President, a pale imitation of the real thing.

Very nice catch!


53 posted on 10/08/2009 12:24:08 PM PDT by donna (I never really had roots in any one place or culture or ethnic group. - Obama Olympics speech)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Sweet, can I get a copy ?


54 posted on 10/08/2009 12:24:49 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Waste and fraud are synonymous with gov't spending)
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To: paulycy

Piss christ? (note the small c)


55 posted on 10/08/2009 12:24:51 PM PDT by hattend (Sarah Palin's mob minion - Mob Name: Hatman the Hitman)
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To: ravingnutter

lol


56 posted on 10/08/2009 12:24:54 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: angkor
Here are BOTH paintings, the original Matisse rotated 90°, and overlaid with the other.

Clearly, it's a copy of the layout.


57 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:09 PM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: Republicanprofessor

*art fraud ping*


58 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:20 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: smokingfrog

Speaking of lint, here is some art made with lint.

http://thelintlady.net/gallery.html


59 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:24 PM PDT by petitfour (Are you a Dead Fish American?)
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To: Beelzebubba
That's art?


60 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:28 PM PDT by McGruff (Go rogue baby, go rogue!)
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To: Jeff Chandler

that’s pretty good. reminds me of the “Arizona snow man, snow glob” (just melted water)


61 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:49 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: Beelzebubba

Looks like WARD CHURCHILL-NESS is catching!!


62 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:53 PM PDT by Ann Archy
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To: TChris

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alma_Thomas

Alma Woodsey Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African American Expressionist painter and art educator.[1]

Born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, Thomas moved to Washington, D.C. with her family in 1907.[2] In 1924, she was the first graduate of Howard University’s art department.[3] In 1934, Thomas became the first African American woman to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University. She was also the first African American woman to have a solo exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art.[4]

Thomas’s early art was realistic, but delved into abstraction influenced by the work of her professors, Lois Mailou Jones and James V. Herring. Thomas’s later art, influenced by Expressionism, became her best-known works: large canvases filled with irregular, brightly colored patterns. These works have been compared to Byzantine mosaics and the pointillist paintings of Georges-Pierre Seurat.[4][5]

Two of Thomas’s works now hang in the White House.[1] For example, her “Watusi (Hard Edge)” hangs in the East Wing, in the office of First Lady Michelle Obama.[6]


63 posted on 10/08/2009 12:25:55 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Roccus

LOL. I guess dead artists tell no tales. The least we can do is blackball her work from the WH. Or is that not being politically correct?


64 posted on 10/08/2009 12:26:29 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Jeff Chandler

when my kids were little and i volunteered in the chandler school district (also taught) we made stuff like this in K-2 grade. tear the construction paper and glue.


65 posted on 10/08/2009 12:27:04 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: ravingnutter

good point. i’ll tear some construction paper, glue it, and apply for an NEA grant. i’ll say it’s for “healthcare”.


66 posted on 10/08/2009 12:28:37 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: Roccus

I just had a thought. Perhaps Bill Ayers is the one who did the artwork and Ms Thomas just signed her name to it.


67 posted on 10/08/2009 12:28:41 PM PDT by kabar
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To: ravingnutter; machogirl

True. Cheap tricks are a hallmark of today’s collegiate education.


68 posted on 10/08/2009 12:28:57 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Beelzebubba

But the colors are different.


69 posted on 10/08/2009 12:28:59 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: kabar
The least we can do is blackball her work from the WH.

Silly rabbit. They'll just claim that Matisse stole it from Thomas.

70 posted on 10/08/2009 12:29:26 PM PDT by Roccus (My anger is manufactured.......................................in the WHITE HOUSE and CONGRESS!!)
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To: Abathar

i would hope that i would have gotten more than that.


71 posted on 10/08/2009 12:29:35 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: petitfour

When I wash my red tabby cat’s blanket, I get some amazing lint from the dryer.


72 posted on 10/08/2009 12:30:32 PM PDT by smokingfrog (No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session. I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: Beelzebubba

I’m getting the old red x in a square thing for the second one.


73 posted on 10/08/2009 12:30:33 PM PDT by EggsAckley (There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply. W.C. Fields)
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To: Jeff Chandler

my oldest is working on a dual major at asu, art and high school education.

his stuff is way better than this. he did this in primary grades.


74 posted on 10/08/2009 12:30:43 PM PDT by machogirl (First they came for my tagline.)
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To: Trick or Treat; All
I removed the colors to show the similarity better.
I also rotated one of them.
75 posted on 10/08/2009 12:31:07 PM PDT by Rio (Don't make me come over there....)
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To: paulycy

LMAO!


76 posted on 10/08/2009 12:31:30 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear ('They're drinking the juice.'~ Barack H. Obama)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

Ward Churchill doesn’t believe that it’s a copy.


77 posted on 10/08/2009 12:31:34 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Beelzebubba

Very good catch. I just took both images and made the Matisse 50% transparent and sized both the same. They are very, very close. Enough of a difference that it can’t say it is an exact copy, but the composition theme is almost identical. (you can’t say, for example, that they are just similar because of the golden mean use that many artists start with). I will upload the superimposed image tonight when I have access to one of the upload sites (behind a firewall today).


78 posted on 10/08/2009 12:31:56 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: Beelzebubba

Looks like someone kidnapped Sherwin Williams and this is the ransom note.

79 posted on 10/08/2009 12:32:10 PM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys: Can't fly, can't ski, can't drive, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best.)
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To: Beelzebubba

What a great eye you have!


80 posted on 10/08/2009 12:32:18 PM PDT by EDINVA (Obama CAN'T see the Olympics from his back porch !)
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To: Drango
I went to Wikipedia and found this: Her "Watusi (Hard Edge)" is a blatant and obvious rotated copy of The Snail (L'escargot), by Henri Matisse.

LOL. Check it out. It looks like a FReeper was there.

81 posted on 10/08/2009 12:33:10 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Drango

Now Obama is throwing dead people under the bus.


82 posted on 10/08/2009 12:33:12 PM PDT by Hexenhammer
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To: Rio

NOW I get it!

Those breaks around the border give it an entirely different meaning.


83 posted on 10/08/2009 12:33:21 PM PDT by Roccus (My anger is manufactured.......................................in the WHITE HOUSE and CONGRESS!!)
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To: kabar
I would say that Ms Thomas has a lot of ‘splainin to do.

It's obvious: that particular motif was common among Afro-Americans in the years after slavery. Working long hours on plantations without oil colors and unconstrained by uptight European conventions like "prospective" or "geometry" or the "human form" or "nature" or bourgeois notions like "technique" or "beauty", they produced flat dull uninspired paintings in great numbers, but they were suppressed by the white establishment until an enterprising French artist whose creativity was exhausted adopted them and signed his name to them.

84 posted on 10/08/2009 12:33:29 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The People have abdicated our duties; ... and anxiously hope for just two things: bread and circuses)
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To: Jeff Chandler

ROTFLMAO! You’re killing me!!!


85 posted on 10/08/2009 12:33:32 PM PDT by library user
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To: TChris

Woah!!!! Noice! The artist is a fraud!


86 posted on 10/08/2009 12:33:43 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear ('They're drinking the juice.'~ Barack H. Obama)
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To: kabar

LOL, the history shows that was just added today.

I am going to scan through her other images, I wonder what else she may have stolen.


87 posted on 10/08/2009 12:34:43 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: mnehring

Hehe. This should be intersting.


88 posted on 10/08/2009 12:35:37 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear ('They're drinking the juice.'~ Barack H. Obama)
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To: Republicanprofessor

Ping


89 posted on 10/08/2009 12:36:10 PM PDT by Sloth (For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of the International Olympic Committee.)
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To: Rio
The very same picture just different colors. The art is clearly a ripoff! Here it is in color.

Photobucket

90 posted on 10/08/2009 12:36:34 PM PDT by GloriaJane (http://www.last.fm/user/GloriaJane)
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To: kabar

Ha ha. She has been FReeped and just rolled over in her grave.


91 posted on 10/08/2009 12:36:39 PM PDT by crusty old prospector
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To: Beelzebubba

When did Thomas do hers? In otherwords who copied who???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Snail

The Snail or The Snail (L’escargot), by Henri Matisse, Nice-Cimiez, Hotel Regina, [summer 1952-early] 1953, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white paper, 9’4 3/4” x 9’ 5” (287 x 288 cm) collection Tate Gallery, London.[1] It consists of a number of colored shapes, arranged in a spiral pattern, as suggested by the title. During the early to mid-1940s Matisse was in poor health. Eventually by 1950 he stopped painting in favor of his paper cutouts. The Snail, is a major example of Matisse’s final body of works known as the cutouts.[2]


92 posted on 10/08/2009 12:36:45 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Jeff Chandler; Slings and Arrows; Revolting cat!
Here is my great work of art. I call it "Polar Bear in Blizzard":

Here's my GE-NBC-SNL funded version called: I'm Sarah Palin And I Can See Russia From My House:

 

Always find a gullible patron who will buy your works.

93 posted on 10/08/2009 12:37:22 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear
Her other paintings have a very unique look that is far different than this one.


94 posted on 10/08/2009 12:37:41 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: paulycy

See if you can get the NEA to fund THAT Obamawork.


95 posted on 10/08/2009 12:37:49 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: Drango

LOL!


96 posted on 10/08/2009 12:38:47 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Beelzebubba

Rename the forgery from “Watusi” to “TOTUS Reveled” and the painting then achieves a certain reality.


97 posted on 10/08/2009 12:39:05 PM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd: ON)
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To: Jeff Chandler

I have been in an “art” gallery that has displayed exactly that. Had a different title IIRC but I dare say you should sue!


98 posted on 10/08/2009 12:39:51 PM PDT by xp38
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To: Rio

That really shows it!


99 posted on 10/08/2009 12:40:27 PM PDT by altura
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To: paulycy

Now that shows talent. Wow.


100 posted on 10/08/2009 12:40:34 PM PDT by equalitybeforethelaw
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