"What Lies Beneath" Mert and Marcus
I'm not sure I'll ever get over the beauty of this shoot from Love Magazine #6, 2011. Featuring Mariacarla Boscono, Saskia De Brauw, Kristen McMenamy, Paul Boche, Anais Pouliot, Lara Stone, Jed Texas, Guinevere VanSeenus, Xiao Wen Ju and Angus Whiteheadare. "What Lies Beneath" served as I major inspiration for 'We the Painted' and features heavily on my mood boards for the book.
It wasn't until recent years I discovered the controversy behind this shoot as some people have pointed out that this shoot is in fact, a direct copy of Jeff Barks 2007 Woodpecker Series.
As first pointed out to me by beautifully-invisible.com.... I now feel as guilty about loving this shoot as much as I feel guilty for buying a designer rip-off design from Zara. That was, until I spoke to a friend of a friend who knew someone who knew Jeff Barks.
(Actually they really do know Jeff... but I thought that sounded more entertaining)
They told me that with Mert and Marcus recreating his shoot... it actually put him in a much better spotlight that his career had been enjoying and made a great and positive impact on his career! He had never been profiled in such a way until this happened!
So replication doesn't always turn into an artist being robbed of their original thought and profit?
Is there a @dietprada for editorial ripoffs? Maybe one already exists... tag me in any insta account that does this (@beccagilmartin). I KNOW that sometimes ideas are created with amazing similarities by absolute chance... this has happened TWICE for me creating editorials for @laudmagazine - One was creating the Gucci Inspired shoot... then 2 months after we shot it, and JUST before we went to print... Gucci released a sunglasses campaign that looks creepily like what we shot. Same set theme and everything. THEN the same has happened for a shoot coming up in Issue #8 and a Balenciaga print add. NUTS! Complete co-incidence! Our shoots were shot well before these images by the big labels were even released.
However... I can't get past this with Mert & Marcus somehow deep in my soul. Part of my heart breaks because I LOVE LOVE LOVE their work and I hate knowing this. And I'm also In love with this shoot. UGH!
Jeff Barks shoot definitely has more soul and authenticity. I mean, it's a pretty clear recreation... they even recreated the wooden jetty, the car scene, the swans. All of it. And maybe the argument is it's a recreation of art in and editorial and fashion context. I don't know. I feel squirmy and uncomfortable even if it DID make a positive impact on Jeffs career.
So let's take a minute to appreciate the ORIGINAL creative behind this vision and stop trying to wrap our brain around if it's bad or not to replicate.