The art world proves once again that it can not help but repeat itself. Frequently. Lisa Kereszi, a photographer represented by Yancey Richardson, has been shooting a lot of popular subject matter lately…which would explain why her work always ends up looking EXACTLY like some other lesser known emerging artist. Let’s take a look.
Photo credit: Ofer Wolberger/JHB Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery
Both images were shot 2001 and exhibited in 2005. Interestingly enough, a visit to Ofer’s site reveals that he has titled the connected series Made In The USA in the same way Kereszi has titled her image. This probably is an unhappy coincidence, but who knows. It is possible Kereszi is ripping the guy off.
Photo credit: Black and White Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery
The Gardner image was shot in 2004 and Kereszi in 2003. Gardner’s series was exhibited at the Columbia MFA thesis show in 2004, and Kereszi’s photograph was shown at Yancey Richardson in the summer of 2004. Oh, and yes, one of these works looks just like the other…well except for Kereszi’s work looking totally slack ass.
While one might reasonably argue that Kereszi is now experiencing knock offs of her work, in both Wolberger and Gardner’s case, the scenarios involved with shooting make this impossible. In the case of Wolberger, the fallen sign was not openly available for photographing, and was not around long enough for either one of the artists to print the work, have the other see it, and then reproduce it.
The mermaid studies are probably a little more along the lines of he said, she said, but since Gardner seeks out photographers who are shooting the same subject matter as her, it seems unlikely that her claim that she was unaware of any other photographer doing the same work is false.
The larger issue at hand of course, is that regardless of who shot what first, the work of Kereszi is being wrongly promoted as an investment in one of the best emerging photographers in New York. If Yancey Richardson was really that interested in seeking out “the best” new photographers, either none of the artists would be represented by her, or she would represent the artists who shot the better version of these works. But she’s not doing that. And really, we can’t expect the rules of business relationships to change overnight just because Art Fag City happened to notice that photographers take the same pictures.