Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#BoycottZara

Image: courtesy of AdamJK
ZARA, the world's largest apparel retailer, and notorious 'fast-fashion' copycat brand, is at it again this summer ripping off popular independent artists around the globe and selling their poorly-fabricated, illegal / unauthorized reproductions across their main, and subsidiary companies.  When confronted they clapped back at one LA-based, indie artist, Tuesday Bassen, with a very neaner-neaner we're more popular than you, so we can steal your work kind of response.  Which, I'm sure she was thrilled to receive after dropping 2k on a professionally drafted Cease & Desist letter to the company informing them of their misstep.

If Zara thinks acting like a stuck-up prom queen after being called out on their theft is winning them any popularity contests, they are mistaken.  It's very disappointing when the largest apparel, and accessories retail chain founded by Amancio Ortega (the second richest man in the world, and richest in Europe) has to steal from independent artists and sell ripped-off designs when there are much smaller businesses out there contracting with these same artists following all appropriate legal channels to bring lesser known or underground trends to larger audiences.  If these businesses can accomplish this task, I'm sure Ortega and his ilk can figure it out as well ... if they want to.

Original artists listed left to right:
Tuesday Bassen
Juliette Mallete
Adam J. Kurtz
Georgia Perry
Maria Inges Gul
Big Bud Press
Ivonna Buenrostro
Strawberry Moth
Gabriella Sanchez
Explorer's Press
Mokuyobi Threads
Anna Santaguida

The list just seems to keep growing ... At last count it appears ZARA has lifted 42 separate works from other artists and reproduced them.  For a frequently updated running list please visit ShopArtTheft.com, and support the original artists.

For your reading pleasure:
Shop ZARA's Art Theft Collection
(Adam J. Kurtz)
An Independent Artist Has Accused Zara Of Stealing Her Designs
(Buzzfeed)
(Co.Create)
Artist Claims Zara Doesn’t Care About Stealing Her Designs Because She Isn’t Popular Enough
(Complex)   
Zara Makes a New Enemy, Steals Tuesday Bassen’s Designs
(College Candy)
Zara copied an indie artist's designs but said it’s NBD ‘cause she’s not famous
(Cosmopolitan)
Indie designer accuses Zara of stealing work, Zara says artist's work isn't 'distinctive'
(The Daily Dot)
(Daily Mail)
(DAZED)
12 Artists Are Accusing Zara of Stealing Their Designs
(Fortune)
(The Guardian)
(The Huffington Post)
(Metro)

Friday, July 1, 2016

She Loves in Color

She Loves in Color - Acrylic on Canvas

                                "She sees
                                 in black and white
                                 thinks in greys
                                 but loves in color"
                                                      -JmStorm

Waiting to see if my submission for the 2nd annual Michaels Art Challenge has made it into the *top ten* is excrutiating ... I'm not exactly holding my breath, but waiting isn't something I'm particularly good at, and an extra vibe or bit of luck thrown my way wouldn't go unappreciated!  A jury of 5 art experts has the laborious task of narrowing down the thousands of submissions (I think last year's contest brought in 11k) to just ten semifinalists based on overall creativity, technique, subject, and individuality, that will then be released to the public to vote for the winner beginning July 5, 2016.  Frankly, at this point I don't know if I've hit any of those marks, but I did walk away with a painting that I'm not totally ashamed to hang on my wall so, in that regard it's been fun to play, and see this little project come to completion.

Browse all submissions here (you really should take a peek, there's some great stuff happening over there, I've already got several favorites!).

***

Well, I didn't make the cut, but no one ever wins the game by warming the bench.  At least I got up and ran around on the field, so to speak, whether they wanted me there or not ... Does that make me the streaker of the art world, because I'm totally okay with that!

Voting is live until July 19, 2016 so, if you're interested in helping any of these artists win a trip to London here's your chance.  The page is now showing only 8 of the 10 initially chosen finalists ... One was disqualified in the first 12 hours for an alleged copyright violation, which seems odd to me in the first place since the jury of 5 had two weeks to narrow down the selection and vet each piece before voting was opened to the public, add to that the piece in question was never replaced by an alternate because of "unfairness" even though this entire leg of the competition is based on how hard you can rally on social media to get votes so, a 12 hour delay really isn't that big of deal when the entire voting span is 14 days.  The second has vanished for some unknown-to-me-reason.  Frankly, this entire contest looks like it's unraveling at the seams.  No sour grapes, just plain observation.  Maybe they'll have all the kinks worked out by next year, but it's not looking entirely hopeful based on how this has been handled.