Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age

This virtual exhibit features art that makes use of copyrighted material without permission, hence “illegal.” Some of the works are relatively well-known, such as Todd Haynes’ Karen Carpenter biopic, featuring Barbie doll actors and the music of the Carpenters. Others are obscure parodies of things like Bill Keane’s comic The Family Circus. The site includes some lovely, disturbing paintings from Dick Detzner’s “Corporate Sacrilege” series—an angel stops the Green Giant from sacrificing the Lil’ Sprout in a parody of the biblical story of Abraham’s aborted sacrifice of his son. Also on the site: plenty of information about copyright law, its constitutional origins and the ways in which it currently is being abused to infringe on free speech and creativity. The real exhibit has been shown in New York and Chicago already and is coming to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery in July.