On April 20th, birthday of Spanish surrealist Joan Miro, Google inducted him into the ranks of such influential people as Martin Luther King Jr, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Leonardo da Vinci by changing their logo to depict his style. The Artists Rights Society (ARS), representing the artist’s family, demanded that Google take down the logo. Google complied, issuing a statement that they did not believe they had violated the artist’s rights. Theodore Feder, president of ARS, claimed “it’s a distortion of the original works and in that respect it violates the moral rights of the artist.”
A distortion of a surrealist? Moral rights of the artist? Where is the harm? Where is the immorality? If anything, the estate of the artist increased through exposure of the public to his name and his style. What is immoral about honoring someone by imitating them for one day? Aside from the fact that ARS is promoting an utterly surreal point of view, I doubt Miro would appreciate the intervention.
If you, dear reader, would like to email Mr. Feder and ask him why he discourages sharing the culture of an artist he supposedly represents, please be my guest.