How Bad Is Cheating? 1.31.15.

How Bad Is Cheating? 1.31.15.

The 49th edition of the NFL’s biggest game kicks off on Sunday in Glendale, AZ. Unfortunately it’s not the 49ers participating in Super Bowl XLIX (“49ers in 49,” get it?), but rather the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

Now if you’ve turned on your TV or radio anytime in the past two weeks, you’ve probably heard of “Deflategate.” The Patriots were found guilty of deflating 11 of 12 footballs used in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, a game that they won handily, 45-7.

The Patriots have a history of cheating, need I remind you of “Spygate.” But what does this have to do with art, you ask? Well, prominent artists have indulged in the art of cheating. In fact, part of being an artist is being a cheater.

According to this Washington Post article, “the more creativity a person displayed, the more he or she was likely to cheat on a test for personal and monetary gain.” It is widely agreed upon that New England head coach Bill Belichick is one of the most creative and brightest coaches in the NFL. So it is no surprise that he would cheat to win.

The article cites artist Paul Gauguin misrepresenting his paintings of Tahiti as “a garden paradise” to collectors in France, when it was actually the polar opposite. Another example of an artist “cheating” to get ahead cited in the article is the case of Shepard Fairey. He created “Hope,” the iconic image at the center of President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It turned out that the image was lifted from AP photographer Mannie Garcia, according the the article.


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But while the works of these artists, and even the artists themselves, are appreciated and celebrated, Belichick is vilified. And maybe that is warranted. But can we still appreciate his football genius and his many accomplishments? Or is his legacy, and that of quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots organization, tarnished by all the scandals and conspiracies?

Is it easier to appreciate artists who have been exposed to have cheated by lifting photos, misleading consumers, plagiarizing, tracing a picture, digitally manipulating images or whatever constitutes as cheating in the art world? Or is the quality of the work diminished when cheating is involved?

We want our artists, athletes and coaches to do all they can to get ahead – to win. But when the dirty truth of how they created that image or won that game is revealed, can we still appreciate what they accomplished?

I guess it depends on what game they’re playing.

via: Washington Post

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