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Monday, April 16, 2007

Dave vs. Goliath: Shameless Art Thievery, Ahoy

Keenspotbox Once upon a time, I was strolling with two people down at the Grove shopping complex in Los Angeles.  We passed a gallery with giant windows, a gallery packed to the gills with the most insipid, offensively dull paintings we had ever seen.  We stood in awe that this person had conned someone into giving them an entire retail space to soil.  There were paintings of lamps that looked as if they had been done by "getting old ain't so bad" greeting card illustrators.  Mr. Bill-like cartoon faces, with no perceivable expression or appeal, stared sightlessly off white canvas.  Seemingly random depictions of household objects bore zany witticisms scrawled atop.

"Jesus wept," someone said, "this shit is TERRIBLE."

Instantly, he was upon us.  The artist himself, lurking at a nearby cafe table and supervising the reactions of the gallery's passerby, leapt to his feet and verbally laid into us.  Sputtering and red, he demanded to know what we had said about him, if we knew who we were dealing with, and who the hell we thought we were.  We pointed and laughed at the poor crazy man who couldn't draw, and went to a movie.

I have just found out that the shouting hack was none other than Todd "Goliath" Goldman, renowned "artist" and accomplished plagiarist.  He's ripped off designs from sources as far ranging as ancient Windows animated cursors, Threadless t-shirt company, spooky comics scribbler Roman Dirge, and most blatantly, internet cartooning legend Dave "Shmorky" Kelly.  As the panel at right illustrates, one of Goldman's recent paintings is a near-exact trace of a panel from Kelly's "Purple Pussy" webcomic. 

Goldman's publicist has released that his client has vowed to cease any and all marketing of the stolen design, and to forward the proceeds already collected either to Kelly or the charity of his choice.  However, Goldman's other plagiarism is extensive, and unredressed.

Now that he's been called on his bullshit, and the Internet vs. Todd Goldman onslaught has begun in earnest, the man has retreated to slander, hacking, and douchebaggery to make his point: 

The girl who originally reported the theft of Shmorky's artwork also had her MySpace hacked. Some of the MySpace pages were replaced with an image saying TODD WAS HERE. (Note that the image is hosted on Goldman's website, indicating it is either Todd or an employee with access to his webserver)

This is one example among many.  What can be done about it, besides spurting reams of textualized nerd rage into every venue that will tolerate it?  Shmorky's got the original design up for sale on a shirt.  And one can always Digg, of course.  Otherwise, I encourage the perusal of the following links, so that you may familiarize yourself with his myriad offenses and be able to hold forth on the subject at parties, whist drives, and strawberry teas.  Do it for ART.

Holy cow, Todd (Goliath) Goldman ripped me off! [Something Awful Forums]
Todd Goldman: Art Thief [Mike Tyndall]
Todd Goliath Goldman, Art Thief [Digg]

EDITOR: John Brownlee | |
CONTRIBUTOR: Eliza Gauger |
CONTRIBUTOR: Lisa Katayama |
CONTRIBUTOR: Annalee Newitz |
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