On your left is a work of by renowned artist Christopher Wool, who had a show at the Guggenheim earlier this year. On your right is a new shirt from Joe Fresh, “a fashion brand and retail chain created by designer Joe Mimran for Canadian food distributor Loblaw Companies Limited.” Art F City points out that they are quite, quite similar in style.
If we’re going to get literate about copyright legality of products derivative of an art work, yes, the black on white stencil lettering and breaks in words carried over to the next line is 100% Wool, but the spacing between the letters and the t-shirt’s lackluster branded text is a big, banal deviation. That $15 shirt is not fresh. Why, even? You can get real fake Christopher Wool t-shirts for $2.25 on eBay. (See right.)
Maybe Wool wants to set a gang of lawyers onto the manufacturers of this shirt and have a case, but even Barbara Kruger scoffed at “uncool jokers” of Supreme and their complete replication of her signature font for all their merch and subsequent lawsuit of someone else’s transformative parody.
And hey, it’s not like Christopher Wool never appropriated anything.