Inspiration or plagiarism?

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.


6 Responses to “Inspiration or plagiarism?”

  1. 1 Mark

    I really wish people would get a life and leave you alone and your magnificent photography! I think it is wonderful!!!!! If they can’t say anything positive then just be silent! Bravo on your work! Anyway, nobody has complete rights over the naked male body!!

  2. 2 Tony (LT)

    Even if you did think of Weber while working, that’s not plagiarism. Art is manifested by a series of inspirations, each one giving life to another, whether conscious or not.

  3. 3 BosGuy

    I agree with Tony. Don’t let those turkeys prevent you from soaring… Sorry couldn’t help the cheesy Thanksgiving themed words of encouragement.

    I’m familiar with your work and would say that it was 100% Brenton.

  4. 4 Lex

    I agree the only link between Weber & you would be that you both have images of nude guys. That’s it. In that case most, if not all, photographers would be sued for plagiarism. From what I’ve seen of your work & from the video you posted your work seems fun, adventurous. Something about Weber’s work, while nice, always seemed sterile or forced to me. Then again it could just be the way his models pose as well as the fact that after working in a certain store that heavily relies on his work there’s nothing special in it to me. Don’t let a few idiots who probably have nothing better to do try & shake your game.

  5. 5 Sue

    I was going to say something comforting and along the lines of that you are an independent artist creating your own vision, but then I saw that others have already done it for me! LOL! Well done B! Don’t listen to the jealous people throwing accusations out there at you! Keep on creating; because I certainly enjoyed seeing your video!

  6. 6 smoothkiwi

    At schools students are required to use artists models, hardly plagiarism

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