9/2/10

Art, Ads, and Juice Newton

I always marvel at the commercial side of the art world using classic fine-art images.  I'm talking specifically about fine-art paintings from history being used in ads and other commercial print work.  You don't see it too often.  This has been going on for many years of course and it's totally fine, and most times not real surprising.  For instance we've all seen Michelangelo's angels appear in ads, book jackets, or posters.  It just always happens when I least expect it and makes me smile every time!

Sometimes I'll notice an artists' work who I'm a huge fan of, but is less known to the general public, being used in some commercial way.  An artist like J.C. Leyendecker for instance.  Granted, he was an illustrator, and his art was created for commercial use to begin with.  I just always get a kick out of seeing an image he painted, lets say for a magazine 80 or so years ago, being used commercially today.  How many people, other than those who know his work, would recognize it?  Not many, but I'm sure if it's being used like that it's probably totally legal since most images of old master paintings are available to use commercially.  It still makes me laugh whenever I notice it though!  Probably because there's just so much other imagery available to the advertising world for designers to use.

Today, I came across a real unexpected one.  I was browsing songs on iTunes and clicked on Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning" song and saw a painting of St. Matthew by Caravaggio used on the cover of the iTunes album!  I recently read two books about Caravaggio, and love his paintings, so his paintings and time period are something I always have right up there in my head (if not in front of my face).  Juice Newton however is never in my head!!  Which is why I guess I laughed at seeing that particular image on that particular album cover!

I know it's a literal interpretation of the song, but it just seems so out of place!!  Not to mention they flipped the image.  Just seems to cheapen the painting a bit to use it that way I guess. Sorry Juice Newton fans.  Didn't mean to offend.  I just slapped down ninety-nine cents for the song if it makes you feel better.

If you ever notice any popular (or not so popular) paintings or illustrations from history being used on ads and such, e-mail me at joe@joewinklerart.com  and tell me what you think about it or my comments today.