Photographer captures eccentric ‘inspired by’ artwork and lawyers

Written by Lariana Handyside, CNN

Artists come in all shapes and sizes — from the lanky, skeletal ones found sculpting under a subway seat to the abstract, branched clay-hued sunflowers.

Now one photographer takes a unique look at artists and their craft. An L.A. based artist-lawyer has created a series of amusing images which show the similarities between artists and their work.

In fact, Daniel Garrecht, founder of Creative Relations Law , crafted a series of books — “The Art of Talking to Your Lawyer” and “Art of Mincing” — to accompany his photographs.

Garrecht said that he was interested in how the artists’ work was similar to the legal process. “I wanted to look at how we structure contracts and materials from the artist’s perspective. I started by creating an artist contract that’s a combination of a standard artist contract with artist-specific terms,” he said.

Daniel Garrecht is a Los Angeles-based artist-lawyer who has published several books of photographs. Credit: Creative Relations Law/Daniel Garrecht

“Why didn’t anyone pay any attention to this before? There are so many crossover between the two professions.”


The Creative Arts: Artists and Law. Cambridge University Press. 1985

The Legal Arts: Artists and Law. Cambridge University Press. 1997

Artists and Law: An Exhibit and Book. Harvard University Press. 1997

‘The Art of Mincing’: London’s Artisanal Vintage Market Series

Decorative metalwork, big jewelry and fur scarves are among examples of these artists at work. Credit: Daniel Garrecht

When this was developed, Garrecht realized that their thoughts and mannerisms are similar, both vocally and visually.

“A lot of what I see in artists’ body language is mimicked in legal contract drafting.”

In “Art of Mincing,” each photograph is a caricature of the artist. The pictures demonstrate that all of the photos are of the same artist, and that they all have moustaches.

At the beginning of each month, Garrecht puts up a new subject. He finds the art on the Internet and then develops it with the help of art students he teaches.

The final painting features a square under glass, or a doorway, as well as the same image but with an angled eyepatch, or long, pointed ears — both mimicking the facial expression of the original.

The original sculpture still has its original artist — Juan Contreras, a Los Angeles-based artist who hand-forms his sculptures at The Los Angeles Foundry in Fullerton, California.

The original page, with first and last lines. Credit: Daniel Garrecht

When it comes to sales, Garrecht and his company are approaching one of their new projects as an exhibition.

The finished work is likely to feature at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

This has been a collaboration of collaboration, as the statue community is notoriously fast and independent, in the way that acting careers are. Garrecht brought in Contreras, who participated early on to take some artistic ownership.

“I was somewhat hesitant to just take photographs that were a dead version of him, but there’s a self-portrait element, so I love to see that.”

In November 2018, the two artists shared the commission through Contreras’ performance agency, the “Can We Be Artists?” Collective, by reaching out to the artist community.

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