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Months Old Post Stirs Debate

August 15, 2008

Apparently my months old post about Stanley Donwood’s influence on Third Day has generated a lot of controversy that I didn’t know about until now. You can read some responses here, here. Here’s my response posted on the blog “. . . and his ministers a flame of fire”:

Hmmmm it would seem that I have ruffled some feathers with the 4 sentences I wrote on Third Day. Unfortunately this post implies issues about my original posting that are simply not true.

Just to be clear, I never said that Third Day “stole” their cover from Donwood nor did I ever call them “thieves”. In fact what I DID say was that I was walking down the street, saw the cover in a window, and “was reminded” of the Radiohead album. That’s it.

It is laughable to insinuate that I am unfamiliar with the concept of artistic influence, it only proves that you haven’t read any of my other articles. In fact if you had, you would have known that the title refers to a post I made only six days earlier where I noted the influence of Robert Rauschenberg on Donwood’s art. I would posit that he is one of the more original artists of the 21st century, but everyone has influences, and everyone knows that.

Also Third Day themselves designed their cover, read it on their blog:

But the fact that we all agree that this cover is in Donwood’s style only proves my point, which was just that.

Your last paragraph about “how art works” was particularly entertaining. Historically art has been resistant to the kind of commodification that you describe “art generally sells products.” However it is true art is increasingly being used to sell products, perhaps adopting a derivative “design paradigm” was particularly advantageous for Third Day because the “T’ section is so close to the “R” section and it never hurts to visually align yourself with one of the most popular and highly selling bands in the world.

Again, if you had read more of my writing, other than the 4 sentences I wrote on 3rd day, you would know that in fact, I am quite familiar with art’s increasing commodification and its role in capitalistic exchange. Immediately after my 3rd day blurb I wrote an article about the Gap employing Whitney Biennial artists to make graphic t-shirts. Although the author implies I am unfamiliar with this discussion, had he read anymore of my writing, even one article before or after that post, he would know that I am very familiar with this topic and have written on it many times.

I am glad we all agree with my assertion that the Third Day album is clearly derived from Donwood’s art, though.

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