Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NOTATIONS: #imjustsayin

Is it me, or does the cover artwork of the EP for music band American Authors look strikingly similar to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat? What’s even more interesting is the band’s statement regarding said work:

For the cover artwork of our debut EP, we really wanted to focus on our group’s logo. The ‘X’ with four points meeting in the middle, represents our unity as a band. Being from Brooklyn (also known as Kings County) we wanted to represent our home with the crown and keep the iconic NYC in there as well. The photo simply states our brand and emphasizes the importance of rhythm in our music.

Give me a break.

If American Authors is smart enough to craft such a succinct and insightful statement, then they must know that Basquiat – like them – hailed from Brooklyn. (He’s buried at Green-Wood Cemetery, Hello!) Crowns and “X’s” were practically patented elements in his work. So why not admit he was a natural choice to reference for the visual aesthetic of the cover artwork?

It’s a very Robin Thicke approach to appropriation: Deny the (true) influence and make people believe it (truly) came from you.  It might be a good enough argument to protect you from a lawsuit but I’m not buying it.  

I’m just sayin’. 

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