Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

Saying sorry

2017 . 04 . 22 - Comments / Commentaires (3)

Chris Devins proposed a mural of Michelle Obama on GoFundMe and raised a bunch of money.

Chris Devins mural art

screenshot of Chris Devins’ GoFundMe

As you can see from this screenshot, the proposed mural is the straightforward reproduction of a regular photo of Obama. It’s in keeping with his usual work and, for someone like me who isn’t particularly interested in realism, it’s boring.

Chris Devins mural reproduction of Gelila Lila Mesfin's art

photo by @prisonculture

But this is the fantastic mural he actually painted, reproducing a piece of digital art by Gelila Lila Mesfin without crediting her. You can see a video of Mesfin making her piece here.

Devins has been criticized for doing this—I found out about it through this thread on Twitter—and he’s not reacting all that well. He’s saying that the mural is “zero profit” and claiming that: “We didnt know who the original artist was… . Not trying to take credit.” And, according to this article, Devins hasn’t exactly apologized. He’s said things that dance around an apology and he has offered Mesfin a licensing fee, but he hasn’t actually said the words “I’m sorry.”

Maybe we don’t say those words in situations like this one because we worry about a lawsuit. Or maybe we don’t say them because we think that implying an apology is enough. I wonder what the world would be like if we actually said them.

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CATEGORIES: - English - Featuring artists - Philosophy - Uncopyright -

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(3) Comments / Commentaires: Saying sorry

-- CheyAnne Sexton -- 2017 . 04 . 22 --


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-- Cathy Hasty -- 2017 . 04 . 23 --

I want to be better at a genuine sorry. I say “sorry” quickly and some say too often. I beg to disagree.  I want my sorry to be a witness,  a way that I invite the world to say it more often with the meaning of “I am sad you are disappointed, let down, hurt”  not “I am a sorry human being.”  Hospitals have recognized that apology does not increase liability or law suits; just the opposite.  Often a real apology decreases the desire to punish that leads to law suits. 
Gwenn thank you for continuing to share your reflections and invite reflection from the world.  You are a bright light.

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 04 . 23 --

@CheyAnne: smile

@Cathy: O, I hear you. I say sorry in my personal life way too much too! It’s not that I don’t mean it, but that it can’t be as meaningful when I’m descending into my sorriness black hole.

That said, whether or not studies have shown that a genuine “sorry” makes things better, I think a lot of people were taught not to say it in lawsuit-type situations—I know I was! That makes it hard for people to say it even when it could be healing. We need more apologies in those situations and certainly in this particular situation!

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