Wednesday November 04, 2015

What do you do when ISIS hijacks your art?

Photographer Brian McCarty recently learned that his artwork had been co-opted by ISIS. Of all the photos they could have chosen, he says this one was particularly painful.

Photographer Brian McCarty recently learned that his artwork had been co-opted by ISIS. Of all the photos they could have chosen, he says this one was particularly painful. (Brian McCarty/ISIS)

Listen 16:23

In a head-turning art project called War Toys, Brian McCarty explores what it's like to be a child living, and playing, in a war zone. His photographs feature burning toy buses, dollhouses surrounded by missiles, and plastic soldiers taking aim. They're based on his experiences with children in Israel, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.

As his provocative work spread across the web, the artist soon discovered an alarming infringement: ISIS has been using his art as propaganda. Today McCarty joins Shad to talk about what happens when your work is co-opted, and what it says about the battle for meaning. 

WEB EXTRA | View some of Brian McCarty's War Toys photographs, posted with permission from the artist, below. You can see the full collection on his website

Brian McCarty's War Toys
Brian McCarty's War Toys
Brian McCarty's War Toys
Brian McCarty's War Toys