Tag: Tanner D’Ortenzio

The 12-Foot Tall Steel Wall

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 is a United States law that bestows certain rights to artists across the country and the works they produce.[1] This law is the first piece of U.S. legislation that formally protected the moral rights of artists and their work. Traditionally a European practice, moral rights (separate from economic rights) essentially maintain the integrity of the artist’s work. While these laws do provide artists with protections in a large number of cases, moral rights legislation does not entail that art ownership is an absolute property right. This article will discuss the history and meaning of VARA and Moral Laws while also covering some relevant cases and future implications of these laws.

The Fantastical Case of the Vanicorn

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

Sweet Cecily Daniher is an artist from the Bay Area who has quite the knack for finding rare and mystical unicorns in our modern world, as shown in her photography book I See Unicorns.[1] A tattoo artist by trade, Daniher has used her artistic ability to maintain a career that gives her the opportunity to put forth true forms of expression into the world. One of these expressions took the form of a “tremendously cool, dark blue and/or purple 1972 Chevrolet G10 van, with red shag carpeting, red velour walls and seating, and a white shag carpet roof.”[2] But the truly eye catching feature of the van comes from a mural of a unicorn rearing back. Letting its majestic white hair flow as the equine animal is flanked by bolts of lightning across a psychedelic-starry sky.

A Coat of White Paint

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

There once was an old, dilapidated factory nestled cozily in Queens, New York. Constructed in the waning years of the U.S industrial revolution, this factory served its role in expanding the industrial might of the United States by working in the exciting field of water meter manufacturing. In time the Neptune Meter Factory[1] underwent a drastic metamorphosis, changing from a damp water meter factory; to a world-renowned sanctuary for aerosol artists and daring creatives alike. Eerily similar to the life of a butterfly, the life of 5Pointz was sadly short lived. Jerry Wolkoff, the owner of the 5Pointz site and prominent New York property developer decided that the creation of luxury condos outweighed the cultural and artistic impact the 5Pointz site maintained.[2] This decision triggered an avalanche of backlash ranging from legal ramifications to cultural criticism from across the world.

Remembering the Rebels

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

Alabama Code Title 41. State Government § 41-9-232 states the following:

(a) No architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street, or monument which is located on public property and has been so situated for 40 or more years may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, or otherwise disturbed.[1]

Also known as the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017, this act essentially prohibits the removal or alteration of any kind to public Confederate monuments. This raises an incredibly important question: Are these regulations fair and just? According to the Alabama Supreme court, they are. The state of Alabama has taken a not so surprising stance on the matter, reinforcing the position stated in the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in a legal battle over a monument honoring Confederate soldiers and sailors in the city of Birmingham.

Supremacy Over Supreme

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

The street-wear brand Supreme has become a colossus in the fashion industry ,with their signature box logo being recognizable in households across the globe. Supreme is especially popular amongst the youth of the United States, evolving over time to fit skate and hip-hop niche. Their popularity can be attributed to their rebellious and high-fashion inspiration, as well as the exclusivity of their products. Throughout their history Supreme has been accused of directly copying the work of famed artists Barabara Kruger. Kruger has defined herself through her art, creating collages of photos overlayed with assertive texts challenging traditional concepts of power, identity, and sexuality. A signature of Kruger’s style is her bold text centered in a bright red box, eerily similar to Supreme’s box logo. Kruger never commented on Supreme’s use of her style until the case of Supreme v. McSweeney.

An Inquiry into the Value of Foreign-Born Workers in the Agricultural Sector

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

How much do you spend on a pound of strawberries? Or a gallon of whole milk? Most Americans spend on average $0.99 for a pound of conventional strawberries and $3.27 for a gallon of conventional whole milk. Now, imagine for a moment that our government decided to pass large scale agricultural labor reform focused solely on illegal immigration. This would cause our food prices to raise “over five years by an additional 5 percent to 6 percent and would cut the nation’s food and fiber production by as much as a staggering $60 billion.” (Newsroom) Why is that important? Simply put, our nation heavily relies on the cheap labor supplied by the steadily increasing flow of illegal immigrants. Regardless of your stance on illegal immigration, we need cheap agricultural workers. Our economy demands a continuous, almost instantaneous influx of commodities, especially fruit. In 2017 alone, Americans consumed a staggering 116 pounds of fresh fruit per capita.(Statista) Any action taken towards the mass deportation of working illegal immigrants would result in catastrophic damage to not only the lives of the undocumented workers, but to the thousands of farms and Americans who consume the products they produce.

Walking the Line: An Inquiry into Our Current Immigration Policies

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

On May 19th, 1921, Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act establishing numerical limits on the total amount of immigrants and the use of a quota system for establishing limits on said immigrants. This landmark piece of legislation was passed due to a large amount of Jewish immigrants leaving Eastern Europe. Fleeing from religious anti-semitism in the forms of violent, targeted riots called pogroms and accusatory blood libels. Based off of the 1910 U.S. Census, this act restricted the annual immigration from any country in the world to three percent of the current U.S. residents of said countries. In use until 1965, the National Origins Formula was the system brought forth from the Emergency Quota Act that restricted the number of unskilled immigrants based on the existing proportions of immigrants in the United States.

Clearing the Backlog: An Analysis of Our Current Immigration Court System

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

The United States Refugee Act of 1980 was an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The main goal of this amendment was to establish a permanent and transparent system for the admission of refugees into the United States. The INA with the addition of The United States Refugee Act provides the U.S. government with a legal obligation to accept potential refugees and asylum seekers. With the steadily increasing amount of asylum seekers, this piece of legislation is incredibly applicable to the situation we face at our borders today. Thousands of men, women, and unaccompanied children are making the dangerous trek north due in part to the extreme rise in violence in parts of Central America, with an extreme concentration in the three countries belonging to “The Northern Triangle”. In the 1980s, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala (the countries that make up The Northern Triangle) were the battleground for various Central American Wars, this decade of violence left this region with “a legacy of violence and fragile institutions.” (Labrador, et al)

The United States of America v. Portrait of Wally

by Tanner D’Ortenzio

The question, pondered by historians and inquisitive minds alike has garnered a multitude of books, articles, and discussions. What if Adolf Hitler’s paintings had gotten him into art school? As tantalizing as this possibility may seem, the fact of the matter is that the monstrous ruler of the Third Reich used this failure as fuel to systematically seize or demolish all forms of art and culture that he deemed as corruptive to the German people. At the time, this seizure posed little legal ramifications due to the facts that a) The people whose possessions were confiscated were in no position to fight these unjust acts, and b) Nazi officials acquired these possessions “legally” through means of coercion and intimidation. One specific case of this occurred in Vienna in 1938 to an Austrian art gallery owner, who just so happened to be Jewish. The following 63 year-long battle and court case over the ownership of famed artist Egon Schiele’s Portrait of Wally has made waves in the field of art law, and provides us with guidance on how to treat the ownership of Nazi looted art in the future.