I was just alerted today that two of my pictures “Erzulie Ge Rouge” and “Dantor’s song” were used without my permission by a user on facebook in the vodou community. I already filled out the copyright infringement form so Facebook should get right on it. Here is the form in case anyone has future issues with this themselves and needs to use it: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=208282075858952
My original painting Illustrating Dantor vomiting her blood, titled “Dantor’s Song”: https://erzulieredeyes.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/erzulie-dantors-song/
The plagiarized piece: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151328737845391
My original painting for Erzulie Red Eyes titled “Erzulie Ge Rouge”: https://erzulieredeyes.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/erzulieredeyes-ge-rouge-ii/
The plagiarized piece: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151338315640391&set=a.15342460539
I don’t use facebook, I never have, I’m usually working or painting or spending time with family and friends. I’m not too social on the internet so you won’t see me and my art all over the place. It makes me sad and mad when someone takes my art without asking me first! It reminds me of when I was in my high school studio art AP class at Centennial High and had slides of my artwork stolen from me and given to another student to place into her portfolio. I was actually told by the teacher that because of my nationality that people like me aren’t supposed to be doing the kind of art I do and I am only supposed to do black people’s art. I was told my art did not rightfully belong to me, it belonged to white people and my talent is supposed to be for white people only. I complained and told everyone I could, I was called crazy and ignored and villified. My school counselor stood up for me though which helped alot. To this day when I tell people what happened to me they think I’m lying or making it up because its nonsense and I still can’t believe that it happened to me myself! This time someone has my images and they have also taken other peoples images without their permission and I was told by another person that was plagiarized that their reason is “the white man stole my religion.” According to this person any art that has anything to do with vodou belongs to him because vodou is his faith. This is ridiculous and unnecessary, to say the least. You can’t steal a religion, faith and spirits come from god and no matter what we look like in this world faith can be apart of anyone’s life. My images come from my inspired hand and mind. My artwork I dedicate to the lwa and then I create art for the sake of my passion for it, but it belongs to me. My mind belongs to me and ultimately to god who created me, not to anyone else. Sometimes I also deal with people who believe I am not doing my work because of the way I look and my color. So they search the internet looking for the “real author” because it couldn’t possibly be me. I’m supposed to be bootyclapping and doing the Dougie, people like me don’t pick up a brush and make pictures according to some, LOL. Anyone who would like to use one of my images or buy them can just ask, email me that’s all. Or go get some art supplies and make a picture for yourself, Its fun and freeing! Easy breezy!