Monday, December 9, 2019

Northeast Lakeview College Art Professor, San Antonio Artist Accused of Ripping Off Viral Artwork

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 3:56 PM

click to enlarge KAT KISSICK (LEFT) / KARL FREY (RIGHT) / COLLAGE BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • Kat Kissick (left) / Karl Frey (right) / Collage by Danny Wicentowski
Do colleges hold "Honor Committee" hearings to address possible plagiarism by professors?

Last week, local artist and Northeast Lakeview College professor Karl Frey got called to the mat by St. Louis artist Kat Kissick, who alleges that he copied an illustration of hers that went viral in October 2018. Both illustrations feature a woman's profile drawn as a floral silhouette, accompanied by two very similar poems. Kissick's reads, "Roses are red / Knowledge is power / Go smash the patriarchy / You beautiful flower," while Frey's changes "Go smash" to "Stomp out."

According to the Riverfront Times, the Current's sister publication in St. Louis, Kissick discovered the alleged knockoff via a Google image search, which revealed Frey's very similar design for sale on Redbubble, a print-on-demand online marketplace.

It doesn't help that Frey, a man, appears to have copied Kissick's explicitly feminist illustration.



"He took the concept of my design, he re-did it in his own style, changed 'smash' to 'stomp' and called it a day," Kissick told the RFT. "Like, thanks for making my point, guy."

Upon finding the image, Kissick posted a screenshot of the artwork to Facebook along with an email she sent to Frey demanding that he take down the copycat image from both his Society6 and Redbubble stores.

"Do you even see how fucked this is? That you — a (presumably) cis white male stole a design about smashing the patriarchy from a woman? Are you kidding me????? It's almost fucking laughable. Almost," the email reads in part.

Kissick lovingly signed the email, "You're the patriarchy I'd like to smash."

According to the RFT, Frey took down both listings on Wednesday. The Redbubble link is no longer active, but cached images are visible on Google image search.
click to enlarge SCREENSHOT / GOOGLE
  • Screenshot / Google
While Frey declined to comment to the RFT, he did send an email response to Kissick, which she also posted Facebook. In the email, he admitted to being asked to copy the artwork by his wife's boss so that they could get it printed on a t-shirt, and that he made an effort to alter at least 20% of the image to make sure it was "an original work and not a simple derivative of [Kissick's] design."

Frey claimed that he was told there wasn't a T-shirt featuring the artwork available, but presumably didn't follow up on that assertion. Purportedly, he made no sales on either online platform, and only uploaded the image so that his wife's boss could choose a type of tee.

The irony? Kissick was indeed selling her original piece printed on shirts.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 25, 2020

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation