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"What Lies Beneath" Mert and Marcus

"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.

CLICK HERE  to go to www.beautifully-invisible.com

CLICK HERE to go to www.beautifully-invisible.com


(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.

 Jeff Barks 'Woodpecker Series'.

"Good Kate Bad Kate" by Steven Klein for W Magazine

"Good Kate Bad Kate" by Steven Klein for W Magazine