Well, he’s not so much becoming an artist as he is appropriating others’ work. Bruno Schiavi, whose textile empire, Jupi Corporation, produces clothing lines for celebs like the Kardashians, is starting a label based on well-known fine art. The Australian is able to do so without violating copyright law, as works published before 1923 in the public domain aren’t protected.
To that end, for Schiavi’s new line, Piju, the businessman recreated works by Monet, Klimt, van Gogh, and more, such that he can legitimately claim to have “re-worked” them. Incorporated into the line’s garments, however, they’re all obviously easily recognizable as slightly mutilated versions of original art.
It’s a bizarre tack to take with a new line — law or no law, Piju seems built on copying from the ground up. For his part, Schiavi claims he referenced and changed the works to simply make them more “fashionable.” But while art coming together with fashion is pretty of-the-moment, perhaps the trend is better applied to willing artist-designer collaborations (of which there are plenty). What do you think — does Piju represent intellectual property theft, or is it just a playful reference to bygone art world behemoths?