Plagiarism is an unfortunately common occurrence in musical art. There’s actually an entire blog, Sad But True, dedicated to how often heavy metal cover and merch artists plagiarize the works of others. But now, it looks like a mainstream artist’s team has ripped off one of heavy metal’s hard-working cover illustrators — that of mentally-unhinged rapper and Marilyn Manson sympathizer Kanye West.
The work Kanye ripped off comes from Denis Forkas, whose art you’ll remember from the covers of albums including Behemoth’s 2014 smash hit The Satanist and Wolves In The Throne Room’s 2017 return to form Thrice Woven. And according to a post on Denis’ Instagram, his work “Hortus Aureus” was recently ganked for Kanye West’s “Hurricane” video — and the picture he posts shows that Kanye’s imagery isn’t even reinterpreted or altered, it’s just blatantly ripped off.
Denis, however, was kind to West himself, noting that the rapper probably had no hand in this rip-off:
“Vigilant followers drew attention to this petty theft of my 2017 piece Hortus Aureus in the latest @kanyewest video, Hurricane. I’ve never been contacted by any party involved in the production – it’s just been pirated from the web and re-rendered for the video. Now, I doubt it was Kanye himself who authorized the underhand nonsense but still one would expect at least some measure of ethics, quality control and respect from a popular artist of his renown.”
You can check out the video below, with the plagiarized image right at the beginning.
We appreciate Denis giving Kanye the benefit of the doubt here — but from our point of view, fuck that shit. If that guy is going to laud himself as such a damn genius and visionary, he can’t then shrug off blatant plagiarism as something his team did behind his back. That dude has the last word on all of his work, and he should’ve figured out where his imagery was coming from before using it. He owes Denis an apology and a big-ass check.
Check out Denis’ post and Kanye’s art theft below: