Michelle Obama has found herself embroiled in a major scandal after a mural went up of her in Chicago that many have found to be offensive.
Bizpac Review reported that artist Chris Devins is being accused of plagiarism after painting a mural of the former first lady on a building in the South Side of Chicago. Though some are offended that Michelle was portrayed as an Egyptian queen in the mural, others have accused Devins of plagiarizing the work of another artist.
The mural is almost identical to a painting done last year by Gelila Mesfin, an Ethiopian art student in Rhode Island.
Part 1 – Forever Queen 👸🏾 Digital drawing on a photo of @michelleobama ✊🏾❤️✊🏾 Original photo – Collier Schorr . . #nubian #blackart #digitaldrawing #phontart #supportblackart #art #illustration #drawing #draw #TagsForLikes #picture #artist #sketch #artsy #instaart #beautiful #instagood #gallery #masterpiece #creative #photooftheday #instaartist #graphic #graphics #artoftheday #phoneart #supportblackart #melanin #African #blackartist @_blackqueens
Mesfin fired back on her Instagram page.
“How can you just steal someone’s artwork… someone’s hard work and claim it like it’s yours…” she wrote.
“How can you go on record and say you designed this… this is so disheartening and so disrespectful on so many levels…” Mesfin added. “It’s one thing to share or even profit from someone’s work but to claim it as yours is just wrong!”
How can you just steal someone's artwork… someone's hard work and claim it like it's yours… how can you go on record and say you designed this… this is so disheartening and so disrespectful on so many levels… like this man seriously created a gofundme page, raised money and did this… it's one thing to share or even profit from someone's work but to claim it as yours is just wrong! Thank you to those who DM and messaged me to let me know what was going on @dnainfochi you guys should take this article down because this man stole this. I wouldn't mind if he had given me credit or said he took the design from another artist but saying you designed it is just wrong! The man is a teacher for God's sake and said he was doing this to create positivity for his students and community… but he didn't think that stealing a young girl's artwork and making a profit out of it does more damage than good.
She later added that she had been in contact with Devins and hopes to resolve the issue “in an amicable and professional manner.”
“I only ask that everyone keep this positive towards him; I preach love, not anger or hate of any kind,” she said.
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