Another day, another example of Black women’s brilliance being stolen.
A Chicago artist is under fire for jacking art of Michelle Obama from a Black female artist and then having the nerve to create a GoFund Me page to take that art and create a mural in Chicago.
According to Fusion, artist and urban planner Chris Devins—who identifies as being half Irish and half Black— apparently stole the image of Obama depicted as an Egyptian Queen from Ethiopian artist Gelila Lila Mesfin and painted it on a building in the city’s South Side. He also raised a whopping $12,000 in the process.
Devins honestly must have believed that he could get away with it, but as soon as the media took notice of the empowering mural, social media immediately called out Devins, including Mesfin herself.
Commenting on a recent DNA Info article about the mural, she wrote: “How can you just steal someone’s artwork… someone’s hard work and claim it like it’s yours… how can you go on record and say you designed this… this is so disheartening and so disrespectful on so many levels… like this man seriously created a gofundme page, raised money and did this… it’s one thing to share or even profit from someone’s work but to claim it as yours is just wrong!”
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How can you just steal someone's artwork… someone's hard work and claim it like it's yours… how can you go on record and say you designed this… this is so disheartening and so disrespectful on so many levels… like this man seriously created a gofundme page, raised money and did this… it's one thing to share or even profit from someone's work but to claim it as yours is just wrong! Thank you to those who DM and messaged me to let me know what was going on @dnainfochi you guys should take this article down because this man stole this. I wouldn't mind if he had given me credit or said he took the design from another artist but saying you designed it is just wrong! The man is a teacher for God's sake and said he was doing this to create positivity for his students and community… but he didn't think that stealing a young girl's artwork and making a profit out of it does more damage than good.
Twitter wasn’t playing around either:
Backpedaling, Devins acknowledged that Mesfin was his inspiration, but didn’t think he needed to credit her or get her permission because this was a nonprofit project. How sway? Later DNA Info wrote that Devins claims that he offered Mesfin a licensing fee and that he didn’t intend to take ownership for her work.
But he sure is still keeping that money though.
BEAUTIES: Please support Mesfin and her art here.