Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I was recently in a fair where a neighbor was selling die cut mats of Batman and Purdue, star wars etc. and placing them over legos glued to foam core, then framed. They were selling all weekend. My question is do you think this is artistic? And would you consider it “buy sell”?
I think that one rides the fence. BUT, if any of the superhero stuff is trademarked and your neighbor is reported to the trademark holder, they could get in big trouble.
I agree with Cindy Welch. Since the items were not bought ready-made like that, it would probably be considered "assemblage", unless s/he was making the mats. And it sounds like s/he did some work/showed originality in it-- not just adding glitter or googly eyes to something from the Dollar Store, and calling it "ART!" I see "buy-sell" as obtaining items ready made (usually mass produced imports), unpacking, and putting them out for sale without doing anything other than tagging and displaying them-- some of my "competitors" in jewelry do this, and tend to show up at "craft" shows (Sephora and its ilk); at most, the sellers hang a pre-made charm on a pre-made chain, and call it their hand-made necklace.
There are ways around TM character use-- "fan art" is allowed at Comic Con, using TM'd characters, as long as the pieces are 1) original/OOAK and 2) TM holder is noted on the display, whether or not the item is for sale or NFS. The pieces also cannot demean the character, TM holder, or anybody/anything else, and if the TM holder/agent for the TM holder objects to it, it will be taken down/marked NFS as demanded. Even Disney agents don't seem to be bothered by what is in the Art Show, though they probably would shut down anybody on the vendor floor who doesn't have permission/license to produce/sell art with Disney characters.
I agree it is assemblage and could be considered art. Pop art in particular... think Warhol's campbell soup cans or Duchamp's "Fountain". As far as trademarks, they are totally within their rights to use it that way. Imagine going to the fabric store and buying Disney printed fabric to make children's dresses. Once you've paid for that fabric, you've paid for the royalty to use that design. Even to resell as a dress. So the trademark holder will be paid since you are paying the licensee (or retailer who paid the licensee). The problem arises when you copy a trademarked design, thus bypassing paying the royalty to use that design... is where you would be pirating. Another exception would be One-of-a-Kind art like Kaytee mentioned.