An Italian artist has called out Cardi B for recreating one of his artworks depicting the cartoon character Marge Simpson wearing a bottom-revealing Thierry Mugler dress without his permission.
Pop artist Alexsandro Palombo said he will be taking legal action after the rapper recreated his 2013 work, Marge Simpson Style Icon, in a Halloween Instagram post shared with her 144 million followers.
Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, failed to credit him or his work in her post, despite including his original image within her post.
Her photographer and artistic director also shared the images, and while they credited a host of other collaborators, failed to mention the artist.
Cardi B’s post showed her made up as Marge, with her back to the camera to show off the cut-out bottom, just as in Palombo’s original artwork.
She also shared a photo showing her pictured from the front, as well as a runway photo of a model in the original 1995 Mugler dress.
Palombo said: “Cardi B and her collaborators have used my artwork without any authorisation, debasing its original meaning and only to amplify their image with a clear commercial purpose that has nothing to do with that path of social awareness that has always characterized my works.”
He went on: “Dear Mrs Cardi B, based on your reasoning, shall everyone illegally download your music?”
His lawyer, Claudio Volpi, added: “Cardi B has illegitimately appropriated the work of Alexsandro Palombo for mere business purposes in defiance of the most elementary rules on copyright and Instagram policies, with the consequent serious risks, both of compensation and of discredit for her public image”.
The lawsuit is not yet believed to have been filed.
A social media post shared by the artist reacting to Cardi B’s post on 31 October, and updated on 26 November, read: “We wrote to Mrs Cardi B and collaborators how come that they never contacted us for authorisation to use the artwork and didn’t mention or credit the artist, violating Meta policy about intellectual property rights. Still no answer…
“Cardi B and her collaborators have used my artwork without any authorization, debasing its original meaning and only to amplify their image with a clear commercial purpose that has nothing to do with that path of social awareness that has always characterized my works.
“(Extra)ordinary people are welcome to use my artworks images for personal and non-commercial purposes. To everyone else: Stop stealing [from] artists.”
The original artwork was created by Palombo as part of his Marge Simpson Style Icon series, which transformed Marge – a mother and desperate housewife – into in a style icon, while reflecting on women’s emancipation and gender equality.
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Other images of Marge recreating moments of fashion history included her as Marilyn Monroe in a billowing white dress in The Seven Year Itch, Madonna in the Jean-Paul Gaultier corset and as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The series was first unveiled by Vogue UK in 2013.
Palombo’s 2019 Just Because I’m A Woman collection, which shows famous women from the world of politics including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel as victims of gender violence, is on show at the MAD Museum of Decorative Arts of the Louvre in Paris.
Sky News has contacted Cardi B and her label Atlantic Records for comment.