The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Guess who’s in trouble: It’s Guess, again

Amelie Zhao

First, Banksy in 2022. This year, artists Bates and the late Nekst. The list of street artists accusing Guess? Inc. of using their works for mass production has expanded in recent weeks and continues to grow.

The ongoing suit was filed in the U.S. district court in Los Angeles on Jan. 12 by both Bates and the Nekst establishment. The plaintiffs are accusing Guess of utilizing their art in a recent clothing line. Jeff Gluck, the lawyer representing the artists, told Hyperallergic that Guess used “verbatim reproductions of the actual tags, the actual signatures.” 

Department store giant Macy’s Inc. was also named a defendant for dispersing Guess’s clothing.

The three t-shirts have recently been pulled from the store’s shelves and website.They can still be found on resale sites and Amazon, however.

The clothing designs mentioned in the lawsuit contain a plethora of artworks that look as though they could have been pulled from subway cars or city streets.

Nekst, born Sean Griffin, was an American artist from Houston. His work appeared first in Houston before he made his way to New York City.

From there, he began to spread his artwork by tagging it all over the five boroughs. Griffin’s works warranted his cultural relevance and underground popularity. He passed away mysteriously in 2012.

The suit is being brought forth by Griffin’s brother, Patrick Griffin. He said that if Nekst was still alive, the artist would’ve never agreed to use his work for the mass market.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs said Griffin “would be turning over in his grave if he could see what is currently on offer from Guess.”

Bates is a Danish painter and tagger who made his name in Copenhagen in the 1980s. Since then, his work has been displayed across numerous countries, granting him moderate fame.

The suit is not the first to accuse Guess of using artists’ works without consent or permission.

In 2022, renowned anonymous street artist Banksy made the same claim. He accused Guess of stealing his Flower Thrower design, among others. The allegation forced a Guess store in London to close after Banksy encouraged shoplifters to steal clothing with his art on it.

“They’ve helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?” Banksy said in an Instagram post that has since been removed.

In the lawsuit, Bansky’s lawyers said Guess’s actions were akin to stealing any other form of visual art.

“Street art is no longer a small or alternative segment of the art world,” Bansky’s lawyers stated in the complaint. “It is legitimate art, certainly deserving of the customary copyright protection afforded to the visual arts.”

The copyright lawsuit against Guess and Macy’s has gained traction and attention. Gluck said that since the filing, other graffiti artists have come forward to say that their work has also been appropriated by Guess. The case could take a while to close, and more drama could ensue for Guess if the number of artists claiming theft continues to climb.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Ticker

Comments (0)

All The Ticker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *