Fine art of spying…

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With explosive disclosures about the long arm of the National Security Agency, the nation is engaged in an intense debate about privacy and spying. Now there is another snoop in town: the contemporary artist.

Doug Rickard’s Surveillance Art

Annie Tritt for The Wall Street JournalPolaroids collected by Doug Rickard are displayed in his studio.

Fine-art photographers are flocking to what some are calling “surveillance art”—a wide-ranging practice that includes trolling online to appropriate photos of strangers, presenting images of top-secret sites from the ground and air and using covert tactics to shoot unsuspecting subjects. The work is landing in major museums, appearing at high-profile galleries and fetching more than $60,000—even if some of it is lifted straight off the Internet…



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