At left, Andrew Jeffrey Wright’s x-wave #11, paint on panel; at right, “Heidi Knit Dress” by Delia’s.
For the longest time, artists of the influential Space 1026 collective here in Philadelphia have been dealing with dribs and drabs of their concepts and artwork being subsumed into the world of commerce, sometimes for pay but often, just hijacked by savvy art directors and designers who think they can (and do) get away with what pretty much amounts to the theft of intellectual property. This happens most in the world of fashion — the number of claims that small, independent designers have had their ideas stolen by Urban Outfitters, for instance, are legend — where the legalities are such that ripping people off in this way happen to actually be perfectly legal, barring the use of an obvious trademark. But what happens when fashion rips off visual art? This is what Space 1026 artist Andrew Jeffrey Wright is pondering today. As you can see above, a new piece being sold by young womens’ store Delia’s bears a striking resemblance to a Wright’s “x-wave” series of paintings. (Click on the Delia’s link where there’s other photos and the resemblance is even more striking.) Does Wright have a case? Or is it another instance for Space 1026-ers of imitation being the most sincere — and infuriating — form of flattery?