Berlin artist Jonas Jödicke talks about Aaron Carter’s artistic fiasco
The Los Angeles rapper, face tattoo maverick and all-around bad boy Aaron Carter took his fingertips to promote his new hoodies on Twitter yesterday. What he used was an image of two lions bumping their heads, an artwork titled “Brotherhood” by a German artist Jonas Jödicke, a 25-year-old Berlin-based professional artist.
If it was a commission, or if it had been used with permission, it could have been a nice collaboration between two artists. However, this was not the case. Jödicke applauded Carterbecause his works were used without credit as part of a social media campaign to sell merchandise.
Carter responded in a way that was less than professional, admitting that he was actually using the image to promote his sartorial merchandise, and had no plans to take it down.
In an interview with Forbes, Jödicke explains the story on his side and why we need to step up our efforts to support visual artists more than ever. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that his work has been used without his permission. He also tells us about this time in Thailand, not to mention a meeting with Madonna.
How did you first learn that Aaron Carter was using your lion piece to promote his clothing brand on Twitter?
Jonas Jödicke: I first learned of Aaron’s use of my artwork from a Twitter follower. They reached out to me via direct message to tell me about Aaron’s tweet in which he posted my artwork to promote his new merchandise store. He didn’t mention me as the original artist and didn’t ask permission beforehand. That’s why I tweeted him out, in a polite manner, to let him know that I didn’t agree with him using my art in this manner.
What do you think of his response after calling him?
His response to my tweet was what sparked the whole tweetstorm. Instead of apologizing or contacting me to discuss things, he insulted me and said I should be happy that he is using my art to promote his store. He ended with, “I guess I’ll see you in Small Claims Court…” I was absolutely amazed at how he could react that way and not expect people to pick on it. . I shared his response on Twitter and Instagram and that’s where it really blew up. In his live stream on Youtube, he joked that my tweet had “17 likes”. As of now, it has over 70,000 likes and reached over 5 million. You could say that the artist community on Twitter is outraged.
When do you say Carter makes a mockery of the artist community, “How can celebrities respect visual artists in the future?”
I didn’t want to cause a storm of this magnitude, but at the same time, I’m happy that artists’ rights are coming back to the public eye. I think celebrities like Aaron Carter have a lot of responsibility. A lot of people see stars as role models, and if they treat artists like him in his tweet, others might follow. So many people think that when you find an image online, you can just use it for your own purposes, but celebrities should be at the forefront of teaching the masses about legal and proper conduct, especially musicians and other artists, who understand how competitive creation is. market is, and how difficult it can be for artists to make a living from their hard work. They have enough money to pay small creators for their services, but too often they feel like they don’t have to, because of their status. And too often the “little ones” retreat.
What does this work of art, the lions, mean to you or does it represent?
The lion room is called “Brotherhood”, I painted it a few years ago in a time of personal confusion and pain. It is still one of my favorite paintings that I have ever created. It was actually also the artwork that propelled my career as a freelance artist, as it went viral on Instagram and all over the internet. But with this, a lot of copyright issues also arose. It became my first piece of art stolen from a for-profit clothing company. Today, I receive messages daily from my followers who found out that my art is being sold by a random company. I became so numb to it. Art thieves literally made millions with my art. It is sold all over the world in markets, in shopping malls and on the Internet. Last year I went to Thailand with my brother and we found a random street store selling my art on a shirt. Also last year, my art appeared on a Netflix show, without any permission. I officially work with a few companies that sell products with my art for good reason, but a lot of sellers, especially from China, are making really high numbers from my work, illegally.
How did your situation with Madonna work from start to finish? Was it respectful or did the lawyers have to intervene?
The thing with Madonna happened a few years ago. She used one of my works to promote her tour. I think one of her fans had Photoshopped Madonna’s face in the artwork and she, probably not knowing who the original artist was, posted it on her social media. I tried to reach her with a public Facebook post which gained a lot of popularity and she received hundreds of comments on her post but never got a response. I didn’t sue him legally because I didn’t want drama, but now I regret it. If we artists always back down like this, things will never change.
Why do you like fantasy art?
I love to connect with others through my art. We all love to escape to realms of fantasy and magic to get away from this sometimes dark world. I love being able to offer this experience to others thanks to my passion.
How are your parts usually made?
My pieces are painted on the computer. I have a graphics tablet and Adobe Photoshop. People often think that digital art is made by the PC and it’s easier to do than traditional art, but I wouldn’t say that’s true. It’s just another medium that has become more and more popular among artists over the past few years. The time I spent on a work of art ranges from five to 40 hours.
Discover the works of Jonas Jödicke on his website.