British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor claims her style was used without permission
Last week, Kendrick Lamar dropped a video for “All the Stars”, his team-up with SZA for the new Black Panther soundtrack. It’s another vivid music video from the rapper, directed by his frequent visual collaborator Dave Meyers & the Little Homies, with one particular moment taking place on a set with a gold patterned background. Now, a British-Liberian artist claims that this scene was based on her artwork.
The New York Times reports that artist Lina Iris Viktor was contacted by Marvel in November and December last year about using her artwork in the lead-up to Black Panther’s release. Although she ultimately declined the offers, she nevertheless believes that the “All the Stars” video uses imagery from her “Constellations” series without permission.
You can see the two side-by-side at the 2:59 mark in the video. Fans of Viktor’s work have previously pointed out the similarities on Twitter.
“It’s an ethical issue, because what the whole film purports is that it’s about black empowerment, African excellence – that’s the whole concept of the story,” said Viktor. “And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists.”
According to the report, Viktor’s lawyer Christopher Robinson has contacted Anthony Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment (who produced and curated the Black Panther soundtrack), claiming that a copyright violation has taken place. Although it is not a direct duplicate of the artist’s work, Viktor’s lawyers believe they are similar enough for their case to be taken seriously.
Watch the video below, and check out Viktor’s “Constellations” series here.