Miami street artist sues American Eagle over ad campaign

Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:14pm EDT
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By Andrew Chung

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fearing a reputation as a corporate sellout, a rising star in Miami’s art scene is suing American Eagle Outfitters alleging it used his work in a global advertising campaign without permission.

David Anasagasti, a street graffiti artist better known as “Ahol Sniffs Glue,” has filed a lawsuit in New York federal court accusing American Eagle of stealing two copyrighted images depicting what he’s best known for, rows and rows of eyes that appear half asleep.

Anasagasti claimed in the little-noticed suit filed last week that the teen apparel maker used the art in its stores, on the Internet and on huge billboards without his permission.

“Given that he hails from the counter-culture world of underground street artists, Mr. Anasagasti's reputation as an artist has been founded, in part, on a public perception that (he) doesn’t ‘sell out’ to large corporate interests,” the lawsuit said.

Attorneys for American Eagle could not be reached for comment.

Although the copyrights were registered after American Eagle launched its advertising campaign, the artist is suing for unspecified damages and the profits from the infringement.

"Ahol is not painting for a corporation," his agent, Gregg Shienbaum said. "He’s painting because he loves it.”

Anasagasti was named recently as Miami's best street artist by the weekly Miami New Times. His drowsy eyes can be seen around Miami, including in the famous Wynwood art district.   Continued...