Biters & Baloney
I want to apologize for my delay in this follow up. I have been traveling a bunch and haven’t had the time to really get into this until now. When I last left off, I believe I was accusing Annie Preece AKA Love Annie, a street artist from LA, and her cohort Justin Bua of basically stealing, or as I’m used to saying, outright biting my style for their own profit.
Here is the original blog post.
Now, here is my follow up.
First, I want to stress that doing your own research is very important, and Wikipedia and Google make that really, I mean really easy to do these days and so, I did some research on these 2, I also just asked around, old school style and I found that many, who I promised to keep nameless shared very similar opinions on Bua and Preece.
Preece, the actual culprit and a finalist on the trainwreck of that urban art reality show has an overall reputation of being self absorbed and over entitled (I call that a spoiled brat). Which makes complete sense with the email she sent me about this situation.
Bua, has a worse rep, slimey as a snake kept coming up. Which also makes sense because he was a host and judge on that show and now he represents Preece, conflict of interest I would say and for someone who had so much to say on that show has somehow lost his speaking ability on this matter. Slimey’s a good word so far. I actually heard nothing positive about either of them.
At least Annie wrote me an email explaining herself and defending the reproduction of my flag painting and I was quite surprised at her stance. First, she claimed she never heard of me or my work. A 35 year body of work that this urban artist just so happened to have missed? Maybe she doesn’t get internet where she comes from (LA?) because I am easy to discover. As a matter of fact when I researched American flag paintings on that google thing I found the very painting she “never” saw on the first page!
Try it, google “american flag paintings” and you should get this
It’s nice to see that my flag came up so prominently, and my rendition is the only one in my signature deconstructed, then reconstructed ribbon style, in her email she claimed that she was inspired by bacon strips. I had so many funny lines to respond to that but I think leaving it hang in the virtual air is just priceless.
She also offered the “great minds think alike” possibility. So she actually thinks she is a great mind, Keith Haring was a great mind, Warhol was a great mind, anyone who has been painting for only 10 years, I’m sorry, is NOT a great mind but remember the self entitled thingy? Hmmm I am seeing a pattern.
So, without rambling anymore here is my take: Annie googled American flags, seeking some inspiration or reference, came across something she liked- my flag. And without any further research, BIT my painting, outright, down to the blue stars creeping into the striped fields feeling that her great, over absorbed creative genius would never get any flack from some guy in Miami she’s never heard of. That rings much more true to me. Too bad for her that I ain’t having that.
I will post and keep posting this deceit and thievery and if you think I am right, I implore you to leave her a friendly message on her FB page, some of my friends already have and my thanks go out to them.
Here’s her Facebook page.
Word of advice for this youngster: give credit to where credit is due! I know my graffiti history and always give props to the legends before me, Tracy 168, Wasp, Noc 167, Mitch 77, and that’s just a few that I have the pleasure of knowing and admiring. There are so many others. For any artist to hold a spray can in their hand and not know the history behind the culture is terribly shameful and for that I blame her representation, who seems to only care of the profitable bottom line while others struggle to keep it all real.
If I were Ms. Preece, I would just come clean and admit where she bit my style from. I will also ask her to donate any profit she made from my art to any one of the many 9/11 charities. I’d like to make it clear, that this isn’t about money for me, it’s about respect for artistic integrity and not profiting from opportunity and thievery.
A parting shot, here is Annie’s painting