On Sunday rapper, Kanye West was called out on Instagram by the account Diet Prada.
Diet Prada is a fashion watchdog. They called out Kanye West for an image he used in the ad campaign for Yeezy season 6. The image was shot by Eli Russell Linnetz and bares a striking similarity to a piece by artist Rita Minissi.
Both images feature women in little clothing embracing on a grey floor in front of a white wall. The Yeezy version notably has the models sporting silver locks that have recently been a signature of Kim Kardashian. This was not the only image that was similar, Diet Prada posted a selection of images from Kanye’s campaign that appear similar to work by Rita Minissi.
Critics had particular objection to the copying of these particular images due to the meaning behind them. In their post calling out Kanye, Diet Prada said ” It’s pretty messed up when you consider the original work by Rita Minissi explores identity and was inspired by dealing with personal trauma and a resulting desire to reconnect with her own body.”
Minissi recently made a statement to Refinery29 about the ordeal. “Although I am deeply distressed by this exploitation, the greater issue here is that a large corporate entity is profiting off of years of labor from a self-funded artist by turning something cathartic into capital; attempting to steal the truth of an individual without consequences. This is not an isolated instance, to the corporate entity in question or to the industry as a whole. .”
She also commented on the hate messgegas she has been receiving from Kanye fans. “A painful personal trauma is defining my identity in news media, while I receive hateful messages from strangers when I’ve done nothing wrong and never desired to be at the center of a public spectacle (…) Undoubtedly, this situation is not solely significant to me and my story, but to all other artists/creatives who have endured a similar ethical offense.”
This is not the first time Kanye has been called out for plagiarism. He was also called out for allegedly stealing Tony Spackman designs.
Kanye has previously commented in the issue of plagiarism. In a tweet from April of this year he said that “too much emphasis is put on originality” and encouraged other artist to borrow ideas from him. This positon however is notably easier to take as a multi-million dollar artist than it is for someone like Rita Minissi.