NFT artist Jeremy Booth wrangles the Western-themed ‘Outlaws’ collection

NFT artist Jeremy Booth wrangles the Western-themed ‘Outlaws’ collection

Is the NFT art scene big enough for two western-themed art styles? A recently launched NFT collection titled “Outlaws” has some collectors saying its creative approach veers a little too closely to the work of artist Jeremy Booth.

A collection of 10,000 Profile Picture (PFP) NFTs, the Outlaws’ public coin took place last Wednesday where collectors could mint the digital collectibles for 0.05 Ethereum each. They have since sold out, and on OpenSea the cheapest Outlaws NFT is currently going for 0.067 Ethereum, according to the marketplace website.

A self-described NFT artist named Sadboi described it as a moral gray area, saying the Outlaws project left them feeling “conflicted” on Friday. From their perspective, it’s an “obvious reproduction of what another artist is doing.”

The statement was an allusion to Booth, a well-known artist in the NFT space who takes a minimalist and cinematic approach to Western-themed art. His last series entitled “Dirt” is one of several examples where the artist has cultivated a distinct style to capture landscapes and characters over time.

An observant Twitter user pointed out that the lines between plagiarism and inspiration can often be blurred in art. And the speculative nature of many NFT projects can bring a heightened sensitivity or awareness of similarities between what artists create.

The pseudonymous art curator Artifaction² described the accusations of plagiarism as somewhat exaggerated, suggesting that people look deeply into the history of Western art before making any claims.

See also  Multi-award winning filmmaker/actor Anthony Hayes launches the NFT series with Mogul Productions

“The NFT space has a truly confusing set of collectors and keyboard warriors who believe that any inspiration taken from any artist is a rip off,” they wrote. “Just take the picture and do a Google image search and you’ll find icons that have done this style […] for over half a century.”

Outlaws and Booth’s western-themed works certainly share some similarities, beyond their heavy use of cowboy hats and wide-open landscapes: their backgrounds are both composed of satisfyingly simple shapes, and their subjects’ facial features are often accentuated by deep, dark shadows.

Still, elements of both Outlaws and Booth’s western-themed NFTs echo one set of posters created between 1938 and 1941 by Works Progress Administration artists for the National Parks Service, capturing settings such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.

Outlaws detailed its roots in early April – before any controversy regarding the project’s style – and touched on several elements in detail, from how the background was chosen to how the collection’s overall color palette was chosen.

IN blog posts, the project also lists a handful of artists as influences for its Western look, such as “Frederic Remington, Charles Marion Russell, and Albert Bierstadt.” In terms of how characters are styled, the post references iconic westerns such as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “The Magnificent Seven.”

See also  Roofstock onChain sells housing in Alabama as an NFT, purchased with Stablecoins on Ethereum

“By drawing inspiration from such a diverse range of artists, we aimed to create a collection that celebrates the rich history and culture of the American West, while offering a fresh and exciting perspective on the genre,” it said.

On Twitter, Booth made it clear to his followers that he is not affiliated with Outlaws, calling it a red flag that his name was mentioned by the project’s official Twitter account when it reached out to potential collectors.

In response, the Outlaws Twitter account pointed to other artists, such as Malika Favre and Levente Szabo, as examples of creators who laid the foundation for the PFP collection’s flat style. It added that Western-themed art is far from new, and the project never tried to represent itself as part of Booth’s work.

“We never tried to pass [off] that we are him and have been clear about it,” the account wrote. “Please take a moment to compare one of his portraits with ours – if you look closely the difference is actually significant.”

Additionally, the Outlaws account pointed out that it retweeted one statement from Booth on April 4 who said he is not associated with the project back.

In a separate tweet, Booth stated that the style of the project is not where he took issue – rather, he objected to how he was named in private messages and tagged in some of the collection’s promotional content.

Booth told Decrypt he wants to move on and focus on creating more western art as opposed to discussing the situation further. The Outlaws did not immediately respond to requests for comment Decrypt.

See also  Nick Knight's Debut NFT Collection "icon-1"

As of Sunday afternoon, Outlaws was listed as a trending project on OpenSea’s website. And the collection had made 2,668 Ethereum in total sales volume, or over $5.6 million, according to OpenSea’s website.

While the release of Outlaws “definitely” had an impact on Booth, he said he’s making “a conscious decision to be better than bitter” on Twitter. He said, “I’ve been doing this a long time, I’ll still be here when the smoke clears.”

Stay up to date on crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *