For their new project, Italian collective IOCOSE commissioned some work from copy artists, made famous by the cheap reproduction outpour from the Dafen Oil Painting Village. 

A Contemporary Portrait of the Internet Artist is a series of traditional canvas paintings based on watermarked, copyrighted Getty images.

The chain involved practices that are quite common nowadays in the production of art: exploitation and outsourcing, exchanges of files and money transactions, sharing of skills and copyrighting. The portraits intend to reflect on the plurality of different modes of making art…

The digital images of the portraits will circulate online, be copied, posted and tweeted by journalists and bloggers. The portraits might be bought and become private property. But also continue being exhibited. And photographed.

There’s a lot of tight little circular appropriation and critique here. By this point, it’s Chinese copy artists must be getting used to their labor being sublimated as art gestures, nah? (Images: IOCOSE)