Halloween is all fun and games until you forget to credit the artist whose work inspired your costume. As if she’s not involved in enough legal battles, rapper Cardi B finds herself in a controversial showdown with the legal team representing artist aleXsandro Palombo.
In celebration of Halloween, the “WAP” rapper posted a photo of herself on Instagram dressed as TV’s Marge Simpson in a gown inspired by fashion designer Thierry Mugler. Cardi resembles the animated character from Palombo’s 2013 artwork “Marge Simpson Style Icon.”
“Cardi B and her collaborators have used my artwork without any authorization, debasing its original meaning and only to amplify their image with a clear commercial purpose that has nothing to do with that path of social awareness that has always characterized my works,” Palombo said in a statement. “Dear Mrs Cardi B, based on your reasoning, shall everyone illegally download your music?”
Intellectual property lawyer Claudio Volpi released a statement to Artnet condemning the “Bodak Yellow” rapper. “Cardi B has illegitimately appropriated the work of aleXsandro Palombo for mere business purposes in defiance of the most elementary rules on copyright and Instagram policies, with the consequent serious risks, both of compensation and of discredit for her public image,” Volpi said in a statement.
According to Yahoo, a lawsuit hasn’t been filed yet, but Volpi did send formal notice to Craig Kallman, chairperson of Atlantic Records, photographer Jora Frantzis, and Kollin Carter, Cardi’s stylist. The lawyer and artist are asking that the “Up” rapper and her team “‘correct’ the initial Instagram post within seven days of receipt” and have “threatened that they’ll request for compensation for Palombo in addition to the lawsuit, should they not comply.”
I can’t say what the Bronx native and her team were thinking when they put this shoot together, however, the inspiration from Palombo’s work is hard to deny. As an artist, Cardi should know how important it is to receive credit and recognition for your creations. If someone used her image or sampled her music without permission, she would not be happy and there would likely be legal consequences. The same rules that protect her work apply to the work of others.