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Referencing Other People's Work, or "Someone Thought of it First" by Tonino Miano

Written by Tonino Miano in Sicily, August 2014: 

"Yo Shorty" Painting by Nikki Schiro 2013
I know I know, in a world in which we're finding increasingly difficult to have ideas of our own it's hard to recognize sometimes where someone else's idea ends and yours begins. It's hard to claim ownership over "what" and "how" is being observed, and how it is expressed. But in a decent world, if we still want to support the thought of such a possibility, we recognize that someone has already talked about an issue you're making public by giving them credit; it's called "referencing". If the talk is a visual talk, well you can still google what you're trying to do and if you can spot it within the first five results you might want to get in touch with the person who's idea you were about to steal unknowingly and see if you can work something out. That's what a serious writer/artist does, after all, it's only the right thing to do.

On 10/04/2013 the Huffington Post published an article written by Lauren Cahn titled "Blurred Lines and the Art of Cat Calling" ( @HuffPostArts). The article is about the work of New York artist Nikki Schiro and particularly a portrait series that attempts to shine light on street harassment/cat calling. The series is called "Yo mama", and you can find it here

On 08/11/2014 the same source publishes "These Are The Things Men Say To Women On The Street" by Alanna Vagianos--where instead of paintings you're looking at photographs of women holding a poster bearing the "cat call"(in Schiro's work the women are both holding or wearing name tags).

In the latter article there is no mention of Schiro's work, nor did it appear after personally pointing out it's existence and that adding credit would be fair.

We all already know how hard it is to be an artist in a world that takes little responsibility for culture, but one thing we CAN do is to respect one another's attempt to understand and express our environment by building along side and not on top of the other, acknowledging the next person instead of stepping on them and pretending they're not there. Therefore, the very least you CAN do is research the subject you're about to explore (try "catcalling art" for example), and if you didn't, after getting caught appropriating yourself of another's idea, Reference Their Work! It's only fair, simple and it would be honorable, too.

Huffington Post Women Slighting Women, written by Philippe "Keb" Blanchard

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