Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Surface View: Garish or Brilliant?

I always enjoy each new issue of Lonny, and yesterday's release was no exception.  I didn't get more than a few pages in, when I was stopped in my tracks by a feature of the British site Surface View.

The gist?  The shopper can customize, or "remaster" a variety of images culled from fine galleries and museums into lampshades, tile, prints... you name it!


Have you always loved this fine portrait of Queen Elizabeth I?

Well, you're in luck.., you can now transform it into "bespoke" blinds, tile, or lampshades!

Ahh, too bad copyrights and other such protections didn't exist in the 16th century!

I've been obsessing over backsplash tile for my kitchen reno, but I can't say as "Apostles Pulling the Net" is in the running...

So, I'm struggling, because this is a fun concept, but is it me, or is there something kind of exploitative in this premise?  Are you, like me, surprised that institutions including the National Gallery have given over access to their inventory?

On the other hand, these lampshades are super cute :)

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  1. Aaah, your ignorance of copyright law hurts my soul. The whole point of copyright is that after the creator gets a set amount of time to profit from the creation, the creation moves into the public domain. Even if there was copyright law in the 16th century, it would not apply now -- 500 years later -- anyway.

    1. Guilty as charged anonymous! I definitely don't know anything about copyright law, and didn't mean the comment literally... More just pointing about the (perhaps, depending on your opinion) strangeness of that movement into the public domain equalling the distortion of old masters for use on a lampshade!