|Alexander – the Man Who Knows – a magic poster for a mindreader|
|Buy this CD Now for the band Tiger! Tiger! The Kind of Goodnight|
There are over 100 great images like the ones above in a set on Flickr called Similarities. They were posted by Bob Caruthers, a retired professor of Graphic Design. He posts design images that are similar to each other. These images might be deceiving you into thinking they are original, or they might not. According to Mr. Carruthers, they fall into different categories:
Accidents – where one creator is unaware of the other. Nothing deceptive here.
Re-contextualized – where an old image is given new life in a new context. If you as a viewer don”t know about the old image, wouldn’t you attribute this completely to the new creator? These might be seen as slightly deceptive.
Inspired – the creator takes inspiration from the old source. Some say that all art "borrows" from the past, so I think we can safely say these aren’t deceptive.
Homages – the image that’s being borrowed from is famous enough to be widely known. These can’t be deceptive because it’s like quoting somebody famous. If you say: "To be or not to be…" most people know you’re quoting Shakespeare.
Appropriated – the original image is taken, used, and usually uncredited. Without credit, wouldn’t this be a bit deceptive?
But there’s more than deception involved when "borrowing" an image.
|America’s Meat Roundup – a poster used to advertise meat|
In one case, many copies of the America’s Meat Roundup posters were distributed before someone said, "Hey, doesn’t that meat guy look exactly like that Nazi guy on a Nazi youth poster?" (And they traced the illustration – meat guy was traced exactly from Nazi guy.)
|Der Deutsche student – Kampf fur fuhrer und volk (The German student fights for the Fuhrer and the people)|
And a Vogue magazine cover (shot by well-known photographer Annie Lebowitz) of basketball player Lebron James and model Gisele Bundchen seemed to evoke old images of black people… as terrifying apes.
|Vogue cover with athlete and pretty girl|
|Destroy this mad brute – Enlist – US Army – A WWI propaganda poster|
For more about Nazi meat and Vogue insensitivity, go to Media Assassin, written by Harry Allen>>