The $5.7 Million Magazine Illustration – The New Yorker

Chris Foss

In October, “Ornamental Despair,” a 1994 painting by the British artist Glenn Brown, sold at auction in London for $5.7 million. The painting is almost an exact replica of a science-fiction illustration that Foss created for a men’s magazine in the nineteen-seventies, for which he was paid about three hundred and fifty pounds. Brown’s painting was based on a reprint of Foss’s original, featured in a 1990 book collection of the artist’s work.

“I knew he copied it from the book because the painting was cropped to fit the page. His version is clearly based on the cropped version,” Foss said.
The New Yorker

Craft and creativity

Chris Foss

“I was furious,” Foss told me. “I stormed into the gallery and shouted at the director, ‘Take these pictures off the wall; they don’t belong there.’ I wasn’t happy seeing copies of my work all over the place.”

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