Carlos Amorales

Carlos Amorales and his fascination with copyright infringement of his own work

Multidisciplinary artist Carlos Amorales aims to answer the question “who can apply copyright to nature?” with his work. His art pieces consist of earlier art works by his hand, photographed and copied by others. His work presents the journey of pictures. They get stolen, copied and distorted and pop up at many places across the world. With his work, Amorales explores the boundaries of copyright infringement, blended with political influences.

Cover photo: © Unsplash

Carlos Amorales

Carlos Amorales (49) derives new work from pictures people took from his earlier art pieces. In a decade in which all kinds of art need to consider plastic soup, global warming and refugees, it’s quite refreshing to surround yourself by Morales’s work – solely focusing on the craft of creating art. According to Morales, art doesn’t have to be more than just art. It can perfectly just be art for art’s sake, without any further intention.

Black cloud

“Black Cloud” is without doubt one of Carlos Amorales’s most famous works so far. In 2007, the artist started to decorate the walls of his atelier and kitchen with black moth wings. Soon after, this butterfly collection swarmed to many different museums and art fair, but finally ended up in a private art collection. Amorales thought that was it. But he was wrong; soon the fashion industry adapted his black pattern. Amongst others, Dior, Diane von Furstenberg and Dolce & Gabbana embraced the pattern, whereafter high street labels followed.

Likewise, his pattern showed up in different art settings as well, like murals from another artist’s hand. The photographs taken of these copies inspired Amorales rather than evoking negativity. What he did next was simple, yet original: he created “Black Cloud Aftermath”, a new series of black butterflies based on his first collection.

Carlos Amoreles’s fascination with pictures of his own work goes further: he created a “Liquid Archive” as well; a digital database full of photographs and past work, open and free of use for anyone. His central idea lies in the fact that once published, pictures belong to anyone. Hence, Amorales borrows art from others as well. Calder’s influence is clearly visible in Amorales’s work.

Political messages

Every now and then Carlos Morales subtly blends political issues into his work. Morales covers topics from our selfie culture to the bloody war on drugs in Mexico. Concerning our selfie culture, Amorales couples it to the well known Narcissus myth. Amorales thinks our digital world forms a constantly present mirror, making us obsessed with ourselves. He clearly refers to Kim Kardashian and associates, who are today’s embodiments of Narcissus.

Despite the few political messages, Carlos Amorales reclaims art for art’s sake. And that exactly what we need.

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