Did This Artist Seriously Think He Could Just Rip Off Basquiat?!

by Stephanie Maida · February 27, 2019

    Jean-Michel Basquiat produced some of the most innovative and iconic artwork of the late 20th century. His distinct neo-expressionist style is instantly recognizable, and inspired by the struggles of his Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage. So why did some random white dude in the year 2019 think he could get away with blatantly ripping off his work?

    French "artist" Guillaume Verda has recently faced internet ire after some art insiders called out his alleged plagiarism of Basquiat's signature heads. The public outcry caused the cancellation of an exhibition showcasing Verda's work at Paris's Galerie Sakura, which cited threats to public safety.

    And despite the undeniable similarities between Verda's paintings and Basquiat's, Galerie Sakura director Jean-Baptiste Simon has shown unwavering support for the artist, telling FRANCE 24, "A lot of artists work like that, they draw inspiration from another artist or movement."

    Inspiration is one thing, but Verda has notably made no mention of Basquiat on his website or social media pages, and even responded to an Instagram comment mentioning the late artist by asking "who?"

    Uh, sorry not sorry, that shit's just not gonna fly.

    [Photo via @guillaume_verda]