Inspiration or plagiarism? The parisian gallery Sakura has decided, and has decided to cancel the exhibition of William Verda, a painter accused for a few days to plagiarize Jean-Michel Basquiat. “The exposure GROSS of William Verda has given rise to much controversy. To ease tensions and ensure the safety of all, we have decided to cancel his exhibition,” one can read on the website of the gallery.

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Any part of a thread (a series of tweets connected to each other), published on February 19, by a user. “It is time that we are talking about a parisian artist by the name of William Verda”, sets out the first tweet before presenting the painter and photographs of his paintings. “It reminds you of something? Jean-Michel Basquiat at any chance?”.

according To the twitto, his works bear an uncanny resemblance to the paintings of the american artist of the underground movement, who has notably collaborated with Andy Warhol. The similarities are actually striking. Same colors, same figures, same stroke of the brush… But the parisian artist makes no mention of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat. On the account Instagram of William Verda, switched to private mode since, a user commented: “It makes me think of Jean-Michel Basquiat”. “Who?” replied Verda.

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cultural Appropriation

“This is clearly the Basquiat”, “this plagiarism shameless Basquiat seriously.” On Twitter, the uproar swells, and some people are a challenge to the gallery Sakura, who had intended to expose the works of William Verda from 16 to 24 February. And that cancels and finally the exhibition of the artist.

Contacted by 20 Minutes , the director of the gallery Jean-Baptiste Simon has stated that he does not think “that it would react so virulent”. “I assume the fact that it works as jean-michel Basquiat. I don’t know if he appropriates his intellectual work, in any case it is a huge source of inspiration for him,” he adds.

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other web users complain that also to William Verda of cultural appropriation – when a person from a dominant culture appropriates the culture of a population or an ethnic minority without permission.

today, the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat continues to sell at a high price. In 2017, a japanese businessman had spent $ 110.5 million to acquire one of his works.

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