Artful Borrowing


General Photography

“Vanity Fair decided against printing its ‘green’ May issue, which is dedicated to environmental matters, on recycled paper - but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing recycled in it. A spokeswoman for the magazine acknowledged Wednesday that the cover photo, […] shot by Annie Leibovitz, was ‘inspired’ by ‘Ballet Society’, a 1948 portrait by Irving Penn of George Balanchine and three collaborators. Although there’s no mention anywhere in the magazine of the connection, the composition of the two photos is virtually identical, down to the leafy garland on Roberts’ head. […] Of course, there’s nothing unusual in a photographer offering a visual tip of the hat to a fellow artist. But Leibovitz […] has not always been open to having her own work referenced: In 1994, she filed suit against Paramount Pictures, claiming an ad for ‘Naked Gun: 33 1/3’ was an unlawful reproduction of her 1991 Vanity Fair cover featuring a pregnant Demi Moore.” - story