Sunday, April 29, 2007

Publisher's Weekly: Art Thief Todd Goldman is "an obvious rip-off artist."

Todd Goldman

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. We’re beginning to be pretty fascinated by this Todd Goldman guy, because he’s such an obvious rip-off artist, but has managed to make a pretty good living at taking other people’s ideas and gussying them up a a bit. For instance check out this blurb from Animation Art Gallery:

New, hip, modern, and cool are some of the words used to describe Todd Goldman’s artwork. The playful and child-like nature of his characters pair strikingly with the very adult humor of the words which tell a bitingly whitty truth about life. One can not help but laugh out loud. His art instigates an emotional shock response which makes it all the more enjoyable. His art has been rising in popularity and even Jessica Simpson purchased her very own copy of “You Say I’m a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing.”

New, hip, modern and cool to the tune of $90 million in 2004, the Wall Street Journal claims. Although he’s widely portrayed as someone from the fine art world, as near as we can tell from Googling, the galleries he’s in are those kind of “chain” galleries you find in Las Vegas casinos and malls…the ones with the Erte prints and paintings of gangsters and so on. Middlebrow, but very profitable in other words.

Somewhere along the way — and sadly we didn’t bookmark it, and now can’t find it in all the links we’ve looked at — the victim, “Schmorky”, as he is known, said (and we paraphrase) “I never really wanted to make money licensing my work.”

Isn’t that the tragic dichotomy here, and really every where that IP is exploited. The Kellys of the world create, quietly and unencumbered by the shameful desire to actually make a living at what they do best.

The Goldmans of the world have the gene the Kellys are missing, with a keen eye for the marketable, and the charisma and salesmanship to convince everyone that they are the auteur, the ones with the vision. Let’s face it, it would have been a lot harder for Todd Goldman to set up a legit LICENSING company that licensed the work of all these talented but sometimes eccentric creators. Ripping them off was easier for everyone.

We sincerely hope that Todd Goldman gets whats coming to him because of this — if that letter slandering Kelly is really from him, he’s an even lower scumbag than most ripoff artists of his kind. But it won’t stop more people like him from trying to get away with this kind of thing. The internet is making it a lot harder, however, and that’s one small blessing in the age of the homage, tribute and digital download.

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