Some of you might remember that about two weeks ago I posted a story about New York based artist Rob Pruitt ripping off the popular Threadless T-Shirt, When Pandas Attack. The tee was designed AJ Dimarucot and Jimmy Benedict (aka jimiyo), despite this, neither artists received attribution for the design nor did either provide Pruitt with permission to use the design.
Since then, the close knit T-Shirt community has been discussing this hot topic, with one forum thread on the popular T-Shirt site Emptees receiving 300+ posts regarding the topic.
Threadless, a popular Internet based T-Shirt company with a tight knit and vocal community decided to take things into their own hands. A handful of Threadless faithful made their way to Pruitt’s “Pattern and Degradation” gallery in West Village for a silent protest of sorts, with each member decked out in the original When Pandas Attack T-Shirt. Oh, and they also had a huge panda accompanying them. Threadless posted a few photos from the event and promises to share video. And guess what, Pruitt was at the gallery.
“Yesterday in NYC at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Threadless fans and staffers staged a silent attack against the use of a Threadless design, â€œWhen Pandas Attackâ€ (which was originally a collab by Jimiyo and AJ Dimarucot). Rob Pruitt, the artist who allegedly misappropriated the design (to put it kindly) was actually in the gallery at the time, and was completely baffled. Weâ€™re sure the guy sneaking around in a panda suit helped our silent yet powerful cause too! Talk about art creating art creating one very confused â€œartist.â€
Now you’re wondering why Threadless doesn’t just sue Pruitt for copyright infringement. It turns out that since Threadless is crowdsourced, they only keep the rights to the apparel, while the original artists hold the rights to the actual design. So therein lies the problem. AJ Dimarucot, one of the co-designers is based in the Philippines, which makes things quite complicated. he wants to take action, but because he lives so far away, it is difficult for him to do so. And Jimiyo has gone on record as being quite apathetic to the whole situation.
So what to do? Well, first off, we can start by showing Pruitt that he is wrong. If you live in New York:
- Show up to the gallery wearing you When Pandas Attack T-Shirt and ask Pruitt why he ripped off two artists without giving attribution or getting permission.
- If you don’t have a When Pandas Attack T-Shirt, then show up anyway, and question him and/or bug the staff or curators about the situation. Let people know that he ripped off this piece.
- Post about this story on your blog, or better yet, RT this post or link to it on your Facebook page so that when people Google Pruitts name, this and the other posts linked will also show up.
Stealing art is bad, even pandas know that.
Photos via Threadless’ Official Facebook Page.