Photographer Jingna Zhang, whose accusations earlier this month of a painter plagiarizing her work received the backing of the internet, recently shared the response from the art exhibition which shows the painting in question.
Zhang had previously posted on her social media that a painter in Luxembourg had “ripped off” her photo and won a 1,500-euro (approximately $1,570) cash prize at the 11th Biennale of Contemporary Art of the municipality of Strassen.
The organizers of the exhibition responded on Friday, expressing their commitment to copyright and assuring they were not aware of Zhang’s works prior to awarding art student Jeff Dieschburg the prize.
They concluded by stating they would remain “impartial” by allowing each side’s respective lawyers to decide the case.
Zhang’s original photograph was from a cover shoot for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam in 2017.
Dieschburg responded to earlier confrontations of copyright infringement by arguing that as a figurative painter, he needed reference materials.
In a side-by-side photo comparison that Zhang posted on her Instagram, it is clear that the two images are nearly identical apart from minor details, such as the addition of earrings to Dieschburg’s version and a change in color of the dress.
Since Zhang’s accusations, Dieschburg has been subject to a flood of criticism, prompting him to hire a lawyer.
Zhang recently hired Luxembourg-based firm partner Vincent Wellens, who emphasized that they would be giving “priority to dialogue” and noted that no complaint had been filed yet.
The lawyer also added that he was attempting to arrange a meeting between the artists first so as to not unnecessarily create more aggression.
“We have strayed from the essential. My client’s work is undeniably original, it is a photograph that is known and recognized as an artistic work.,” said Wellens. “Mr. Dieschburg says that he was inspired by or refers to my client’s photograph, but there are copyrights. I think the first step was to ask the author’s permission.”
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