What do Banksy and George W. Bush have in common? Well artistically the answer would be absolutely nothing, but both men have had their works bootlegged and sold via online marketplaces. It happened with a few of Banksy's works on the Walmart marketplace, and now a Society6 vendor named ~YSK is selling totes, prints, clocks, and other merchandise with the paintings from the former president's "The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy" exhibition.
The seller has listings for Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush, Bush Sr., Tony Blair, and Hamid Karzai products, and each listing contains the following message: "The artist profits from the sale of all artwork will go to benefit War Child International, a family of independent humanitarian organizations which work together to help children and young people affected by armed conflict."
ANIMAL consulted Greg Allen (their go-to guy for legal questions) about ~YSK's store. "Yeah, this seems like a dick move, supposedly by someone without the guts to come forward and claim their bad boy gesture," Allen said. "I suspect it’s purely a slow-off-the-line publicity stunt by Society6, which is the merchandising subsidiary of online content mill Demand Media. And it’s a dick move whenever a corporation rips off the creative output of an artist, especially an emerging artist. Even if he happens to be a war criminal.”
We don't plan to cop any Bush art (real or otherwise), but you can head over to Society6 and grab a Putin pillow before it's taken down, if that's your thing.
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