Why do plein air painters’ rights supersede property owner’s rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Why do plein air painters’ rights supersede property owner’s rights?

Our city, not me, invites plein air painters once a year. I value my privacy and do not want my property painted. Last year after asking an artist to stop painting and please move on, they almost assaulted me and I had to call the police who then made them tear up their painting and move. This year the same person showed up and proceeded to paint the same thing. I called the police first this time for I did not wish to be assaulted. However, the police were of no help. they said that she was on the leeway which was public and she was painting nothing more than anyone driving by would see. Someone driving by would not sit outside my home for hours. I asked her to move with the police present and she told me that she was just doing what she loved to do (which is what, harass people) and that there were things in life we all didn’t like, like loud motorcycles, and so had to put up with. I told her that as a good person and as a Christian if I felt I was bothering someone I would move on. She then laughed and the policeman told me to leave because he thought I was bothering her. She then spent hours painting my property for profit. I then went to see if I could get the person who runs this pein air event to get her to make the

Asked on September 9, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Property owners have no rights to control images or depictions of their property, unless the image or appearance of said property is copyrighted or trademarked, as some architecturally significant properties are. Otherwise, just as you can't prevent "Google Earth" from showing your house, you can't prevent someone from painting it. They cannot paint YOU personally without permission--people, unlike houses or trees or sheds, have protectible privacy rights--but they can paint your property. They cannot trespass on your land, but they can stand or sit on adjacent public land all day long and watch or paint your property as they do.

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