Artists are accusing Chris Brown of copying their visual imagery in his new video “Wobble Up.” The video, which debuted on Monday, is rife with suggestive gags that sexualize everyday objects as body parts. But numerous artists have said that those allusions are taken from their work.
German artist Marius Sperlich was among the first to speak out, posting side-by-side comparisons of two of his 2018 works alongside scenes from the music video on Instagram. Both Sperlich’s work and “Wobble Up” feature images of a temperature dial in place of a woman’s nipple, and tropical island shaped like a woman’s rear end (giving new meaning to the term “beach bum”).
“Intellectual Property has to be protected at any cost!” wrote Sperlich in the caption, noting that his work, which was done in 2018, was incorporated into the music video “without permission, without credit.”
“For many, the internet is just an open source of concepts, ideas and free content. Nobody cares about creation, originals and credit anymore,” Sperlich added. “Especially if you are a young and an emerging artist… most can’t afford a lawyer for a lawsuit. So most of them remain silent—We won’t stay silent.”
The song, released in April, features Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy, and will be included on Brown’s forthcoming 30-track album, Indigo. The singer co-directed the video with Arrad, a content producer and video director. “The colorful and lively visual switches between shots of the three hitmakers in paradise, and Brown performing some impressive choreography alongside a crowd of dancers in a neon-lit room,” said a press release released by Brown’s team upon the video’s release.
Representatives for Brown and Arrad did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Instagram account Diet_Prada has shared comparisons of other artists’ works that seem to have inspired the music video, including that of Tony Futura, Vanessa McKeown, Catherine Losing, Paul Fuentes, and Jamie Calderon
“What got me is the number of artists that they copied,” Catherine Losing told High Snobiety. “I’ve been shooting conceptual still life photography for 10 years and have a really good knowledge of my peers’ work. I counted five photographers whose work had clearly been copied.”
Futura urged his Instagram followers to spread the word about the music video, writing “credit is the only thing that lets people know about our work. Credit saves creativity.”
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