Self-proclaimed “web artists” are in a huff Rihanna’s weekend Saturday Night Live performance, which featured green-screen graphics clearly influenced by the often tacky aesthetics of the internet. Sorry, whiners. You don’t own the screensaver.
Buzzfeed reports the flaccid lamentations of the community of web art fans who thought the neon peace signs and swirling 3D visualisations running behind Rihanna’s performance of “Diamonds” were a rip-off. Artists like Jerome LOL have made entire careers from video and graphic art in the same vein. On SNL, the graphics were a jarring departure from the usual classiness of these performances. In other words, art well executed. Not everyone was flattered though:
A small number of Web artists were in for a bigger surprise, though, as their visual aesthetic was co-opted entirely by the singer without consultation or credit.
Co-opted? Well, that’s just ignorant.
Far from a “rip-off”, the graphics are more of a homage to internet and computer aesthetics than anything else. These styles never really belonged to the self-aggrandising appropriators who call themselves artists in the first place. Just as they were influenced by the terribleness, they in turn influenced Rihanna and the producers of SNL. That’s how art works. Get over it.