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By Stephanie Spangler

Matthew Bloomgarden came to speak with CALS on April 19, 2010. He spoke on the topic of fair use, which he recently wrote about for the New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Law Journal. Bloomgarden is a solo practitioner who advises artists, particularly in the field of appropriation art. Whereas Van Gogh was able to paint empty fields, free of McDonalds, modern artists paint in a world full of logos and symbols. Nevertheless, Bloomgarden believes that artists should be able to paint the world that they experience.

Bloomgarden discussed the work of appropriation artists such as Andy Warhol, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Barbara Kruger. These artists believe they don’t need to make works according to the law’s understanding of “originality”.

Judge Leval has stated this is an astonishingly unpredictable area of law, but perhaps this is what makes it so exciting.