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Kendrick Lamar and SZA Sued for Stolen Artwork?

Meet Lina Iris Viktor, a British-Liberian conceptual artist who has established a distinct aesthetic in her artwork. According to numerous publications, she is reportedly suing the creative director(s) for Kendrick Lamar and SZA's music video "All The Stars" for the movie "Black Panther."  Vibe.com states that Viktor was asked on two separate occasions to share pieces from her "Constellation" series by the creators of the recently released "Black Panther" film, to which the London-based artist denied both times. Despite Vikor's lack of permission, it appears as though the visuals used in Lamar and SZA's high-budget music video for "All the Stars" were an attempt to replicate the artist's work.

Based on Lina Iris Viktor’s website, anyone is able to see all the different projects she has done, including photography, performance works and installations. Her signature style is definitely one to be admired. Her technique typically involves large canvases that involve a collaboration of multiple media—including 24-karat gold. According to her website, she spent a large amount of her youth in Johannesburg, South Africa, and I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of her artwork was inspired by her time there.

Here is a screenshot from the music video in which her art is highly emulated:

And here is the original art:

The similarities are too close to just be "coincidence."

Viktor's paintings are mysterious, ethereal and vibrant. Viktor is able to do what a lot of artists are not - transfer the viewer into a world that is not their own. Her utilization of highly pigmented blues, luxurious golds and her pattern of featuring black figures really displays her artistry in a way that others are afraid to do. Immediately, her art speaks of a deep respect for ancient culture and tells a story. Her illustration of swirling patterns and geometric shapes radiates a unique approach to fantasy art.

Any normal-functioning person would be able to see that the art used in Lamar and SZA’s music video was stolen from Viktor.

Now, I'm sure it isn't directly Lamar or SZA's fault for the clearly copied artwork. In fact, I'm sure the artists had nothing to do with it. However, the lawsuit that Viktor is filing is completely and rightfully justified. Stealing artwork needs to stop. Just as you wouldn't plagiarize a paper, taking someone's hard work that is their art and claiming it as your own and/or not crediting the original artist is a form of deceit that needs to be more frequently addressed in creative industries. I recently discussed ghostwriting in a past article, but this is not a similar collaborative process. This is straight up stealing someone else's original idea without any credit to the original creator. Inspiration from others' work and copying others' work are different things. 

Image credits: Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

An advertising student at VCU and human bean. You can catch her outside lost somewhere or laughing at her own jokes. She'll claim Chief Keef is her cousin, don't believe her for the love of god. She has a passion for creative writing, music, and people.
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