This blog questions whether Peter Brookes, multi-award-winning political cartoonist for The Times newspaper has blatantly ripped off my original art piece, lovingly painted last week, or whether it’s just a terrible ‘coincidence’ of two artists thinking the same way at exactly the same time.
On the evening of Friday 18th October I began painting something straight from my heart for my art shop Taylor Two that I was rather proud of in terms of it’s styling and originality.
It is a commentary on the impact of social media on the world, and such was my excitement in it’s completion on Sunday evening of the 20th I posted it completed (with the paint still wet even!) on my personal Facebook page (and the Taylor Two business page also).
I went on to immediately put it up for sale as an original art piece at Taylor Two and carried on with life, content that it would sell to some trendy hipster at some point and adorn their hip office or home.
The piece was promoted on the Taylor Two Facebook business page on the 20th, Tweeted to hundreds of followers (yes I understand the irony of me doing this, given the nature of the piece) and a press release was sent to a local news website on the 21st October, who then also published the art piece on the 23rd October – http://suttoncoldfieldlocal.co.uk/amanda-vlahakis/
Now, to my utter horror, this morning a friend notified me that a crude rendition of the very same piece popped up in The Times newspaper on the 23rd October (yesterday), created by their cartoonist Peter Brookes. See below a very similar piece that looks as though it was whipped up very quickly in Photoshop or the like.
Under the ‘art piece’ it states; “Peter Brookes latest collection of cartoons, Sign of The Times is now on sale, buy it from the Times bookshop for £14.99″
Now I for one, would be very interested to know whether this art piece of Peter’s features in the book (ie an old piece of art by himself) and this is all just a random coincidence that it appeared in the newspaper just three days after my own piece was promoted around the Internet, or if this piece of his appeared only following the creation of my own work.
Perhaps Peter Brookes, or The Times would like to shed light on the matter. If this is a genuine coincidence, perhaps Peter can evidence that his own artwork was created prior to the 20th October.
If Peter’s piece is related to the this weeks news over Facebook’s decapitation videos (which has been highlighted to me by another friend), does this make it ok for him to create and then sell artwork that was created by another artist days before he created his own? Regardless of what politics he may have been attempting to convey with his art, the fact remains, that this artwork has already been created by someone else and thus is copyright protected and should not be copied or resold by anyone else.
If something more sinister is at play, well … maybe I was right when I feverishly painted this piece on Friday night; social media is indeed the root of all evil.