Update: SHUT DOWN! Redbubble has finally suspended this account. Thanks to all who helped.
Updated to add links to Nick DeSpain’s work.
As you might imagine, researching one plagiarist will probably lead you to another one. That was definitely the case while researching Justin13art’s shenanigans. But let me preface this by saying I’m not going to get into the [numerous] brand or trademark abuses by this person, and trust me, it is absolutely rampant in this particular case, I’ll leave that to the mark holders. I’m just going to outline the direct lifting of others visual art to use on merchandise that this plagiarist then goes on to make money from.
Today’s plagiarist is racpop, also known as aracaniello or Anthony Racaniello according to his Facebook. His angle is selling phone cases, many of which use un-licensed stolen art. You can see for yourself:
(I chose that video as it shows how he makes many claims of being legit [Redbubble does not partner in the way he describes]. And when he mentions artists… well, that made me ill. This artist receives no compensation.)
The image that led me to him was yet another Joker image ripped directly from another artist’s work. In this case, it the an iconic cover image from Detective Comics #880 created by Mark Simpson, aka Jock. There’s no pretense, no manipulation, it’s just a straight up cut-and-paste. (click images to enlarge)
If you watched that Youtube video above, you’ll know that one of Racpop’s best-selling cases is one with a painting of Bane on it. That’s Bane as painted by John Aslarona.
And then there’s a double offense when he takes Rich Pellegrino‘s original paintings of Marty and Doc Brown and slaps them together for this iPhone case. No attribution, no license, no payment. Just stolen and sold.
Ironically, before I could get a sample image of the stolen Spiderman image created by Sean Hamilton, it was taken down. Gee, I wonder why… Here’s a link to Sean’s original illustration and here’s a thumbnail from Racpop’s site to the now-removed case.
Another straight copy-and-paste is one of Tom Munro‘s photos of Justin Timberlake on an iPhone case. Again, no license or payment or even the courtesy of a credit, not that a credit would make it legal.
And while many plagiarists will whinge about how rich some celebrity is, stealing is stealing. If it’s not yours, it’s someone else’s.
With that ‘rich whinge’ in mind, let’s look at the same situation with an artist who’s not famous, but is being ripped off nonetheless. Another case in Racpop’s portfolio of plagiarism is this lift of George Evangelista’s TMNT fan art. As you can see, it’s just lifted and slapped on a case and sold for a profit. Not George’s profit, of course.
So there you have it. Of course, that’s not all. Racpop has numerous cases for sale and there are plenty of obviously plagiarized images I haven’t covered. There’s an Alex Ross mashup (where someone repainted the head) that, because of the convoluted provenance of the image I didn’t even want to get into. But I think it’s clear from the above:
racpop aka aracaniello aka Anthony Racaniello is an art thief laughing all the way to the bank.
UPDATE: I meant to also include Nick De Spain’s hyper-realistic Ren & Stimpy which were also ripped off. But I forgot. So here’s a link to the phone case on Racpop’s Redbubble store:
And here’s Nick’s original work: