Tony over at The Third Leg was kind enough to post my trailer video for my Freedom Exhibition and I couldn’t help myself and had to read the comments to see how it was being received. One of the comments asked if Bruce Weber was going to sue me for plagiarism. A couple of people have said that the video and some of my images are quite like Bruce Weber. Firstly I scoff at that because Bruce is so amazingly talented that I can only dream of being as successful as he has been for so very long. Secondly, a video of nude men in nature in black and white? Hardly the exclusive domain or Mr Weber.
I will fully admit that I have been a long time fan of Bruce Weber’s work and am hugely flattered that people think that it’s even remotely good enough to be considered similar but to accuse me of plagiarism is a little over the top. He is an inspiration but I will swear, hand on my heart, that not once did I even think about any of his imagery as reference or inspiration for my upcoming exhibition. There is a very good chance that I’ve looked at so much of his work over the years that it’s seeped into my subconscious and influenced my work, but I’m hardly the first creative person to use their idol as inspiration. Following the commenter’s logic, Bruce Weber may well have been sued by Baron Wilhelm Von Gloeden had he still been alive.
The male nude is a classic subject in art and photography. The outdoor nude is a hugely popular subject and has been for centuries because of the availability of wide expanses of the outdoors. For most people, like me, who can’t afford to hire a studio or buy equipment, it is a much easier alternative to a studio shoot.
But, if people want to compare my work to Bruce Weber, I’ll happily take that.