Copyrighting Art into Obscurity

Some of the world's greatest artists are censored online because of copyright law. The artists and their works are being copyrighted into obscurity.

I was searching for some images of one of my favorite artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and via Google image search stumbled across Yet, when I clicked through to the actual site I was greeted by blocked images and a copyright message telling me the images are not available in my country because of copyright laws. In fact none of the work of Basquiat was available.

Thinking perhaps it was related to copyright laws still in effect for a relatively recent artist or perhaps because he is American and I have a UK IP address here in Sierra Leone ( says so anyway) I thought I would try a more well-known and also well-dead artist. Yet, Picasso also came up with mostly blanks. What good is an art site without art on it? WikiPaintings is more an encyclopedia of Law than Visual Art.


Google image search displays the work.


Yet when I click through: Where is the art?


Even much of Picasso's work is not available.

It is sad that the next generation of artists aren't able to see the work of the past generations. It is also sad that in a country like Sierra Leone, with their schools lacking roofs - let alone Art History programs, many will never see the work of Basquiat and maybe even Picasso.

The internet is supposed to transcend these inequalities in information access.

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Started writing one year ago, the day after heading out to travel around the world for a year without a cause.
Current Location: New York, New York

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