Busted!

January 2nd, 2007 | Posted in General

My friend and talented illustrator James Hungaski called over the holidays from his trip to see family in the Northeast to relate a little story about a visit to Times Square. He said he was walking along and spotted a street caricaturist trying to sell prints of one of my caricatures. Jim got in his face and made him take it down. I appreciate the effort, but he didn’t have to do that. The way I look at it, anyone misrepresenting another’s art for their own like that is not doing themselves any favors. If they have any illusions about moving up from selling street caricatures in December in New York, they are not going to do it by plagiarizing another artist’s work.

On my own trip to NYC this summer I spotted more than a few artists with stolen samples on their stands, and wrote a post about it. I mentioned having once seen a video by a fellow in London in which he busts a street artist using caricatures by French great Jean Mulatier, confronting him with a book full of the very drawings he has up on display. It’s pretty funny how the guy just stands there blinking and isn’t even embarrassed.

That London fellow, as it turns out, is Douglas Pledger, and the video I remembered is now on You Tube:

Douggy has several videos of a puppet show called Stronzo he’s worked on. They are quite entertaining, and the one called “London News” features a follow up to the caricature video in which he busts three more caricaturists with Mulatier’s work on display. The caricature portion of the show is about 10 minutes into the “London News” episode, but check out the whole thing if you can. Fun stuff.

Comments

  1. pokedachef says:

    Tom, I swear to God i saw this guy on my visit. I remember his ponytail an beret, he was in a similar spot. I remember seeing a few reproductions of your celebrity work and Stephen Silver’s in Rome as well. Those Shmucks.

  2. SteveH says:

    I took Kage Nakanishi to Leicester Square in November last year and that guy was there still doing exactly what he has always done, displaying other peoples work to attract interest. He did seem to have a few of his own drawings as well, but the quality was clearly poles apart! Many people ask me if I draw in Central London on the streets and of course I don’t. It is a hard existence with our weather here in the UK. Tourist caricatures are in a class of their own and thankfully some of those artists are pretty good! So I have to respect the fact that they turn up in all weathers and that they work to earn a living like us all. In London I know of only one English artist who draws on the street, the rest are immigrants after a fast buck!

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