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The Situation Accused of Artwork Heist

12/15/2010 1:34 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

It's no "Thomas Crown Affair" -- but The Situation has been accused of jacking a painting of himself via the Internet ... and the artist behind the image is ballistic. 

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The artist -- Celeste Gillis -- tells TMZ she contacted The Situation on Facebook last month to tell him she immortalized him on canvas -- and he could either have it for a price ... or credit her art website on his FB page.

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Gillis claims The Sitch posted the moob-tacular image on his FB page without doing either (above) ... along with the adding-insult-to-injury caption, "THE MAN THE MYTH THE LEGEND."

Gillis tells TMZ she never asked the Sitch to take down the pic ... because she didn't think he would understand copyright laws. 

No comment from his people.


127 COMMENTS

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31.

Elisha    

As for S, I don't think anyone who "can't figure out that The Situation painting is just a silly characature not meant to be taken seriously" are idiots.

If it's the artists job to communicate with the audience then clearly your very close friend failed. Perhaps she should learn that she can be facetious without removing her talent from the piece of work. That painting looks nothing like any of the caricatures I have ever seen. The only reason it looks silly is because the Situation looks silly. If she wants to do a caricature of a person she should learn that a caricature is not a literal translation of the subject.

1325 days ago
32.

Becci    

The artist obviously based this painting off of a photo of The Sitch. So....legal question is...did the artist credit the photographer??? And, if it was a photo The Sitch owns the rights to, wouldn't the artist then be the one in violation of copyright law???

1325 days ago
33.

*78    

"Gillis tells TMZ she never asked the Sitch to take down the pic ... because she didn't think he would understand copyright laws."

That's the funniest thing TMZ has had on their website in a long time. But of course while she may be funny, if she is wasting her time painting idiots like him, she deserves everything she gets.

1325 days ago
34.

charley hardman    

few things are so ridiculous as blowhard "artists" asserting a right to prevent you from peacefully arranging physical property you own or control in a manner exactly resembling property they own or control. even worse when they're the ones who sent the model. copyblight is among the bigger scams foisted on the world by the state. if you don't want others arranging their property to resemble yours, keep it to yourself; best copy protection there is.

1325 days ago
35.

Nikkcolle    

Simply - why?

1325 days ago
36.

Elisha    

James from no. 8 you are misinformed. Copyright law has nothing to with whether it's a painting or a jpeg it's the image that is protected.

I can't even wrap my head around why the reverse would even be logical. Just because you change the platform of a thing does not make it a new thing. Perhaps you should learn U.S. Copyright law before talking **** about someone else's lack of knowledge. She clearly told him what it would take for him to be able to use that image. That's a contract. He ignored it. Too bad for her she is most likely also breaking copyright laws by using a reference photo she did not take or ask permission to use.

1325 days ago
37.

ostkuk    

Hopefully she will learn and watermark all her Jpegs.....
Her art is high school art class at best.

1325 days ago
38.

Marcus    

I don't much like it but I don't think it was copied from a photo. I obsessively collect his pics and I haven't seen one that looks like that. lol

1325 days ago
39.

nelle261    

What was that saying? "There is no such thing as bad publicity." Whether it's bad art, or a bad story, everyone here wins. Although as an artist I feel that this is clearly a case of blatant exploitation (on both ends). If she took the photo for this painting, she would own it. If she used another's photo, she would be guilty of copyright infringement. I, myself would have been a little more self-critical of this work before I posted it for the world to see. But I guess she got what she wanted which I believe is publicity and not the quest to create truly fine art. One must earn the right to be taken seriously as an artist, something I think is sorely missing in today's "art" world.

1325 days ago
40.

dd    

@lisslissa25 No U ARE THE FOOL HERE..u can't take someones image and sell it without their permission..Go take a buisness law class u MORON!

1325 days ago
41.

dd    

@ZEN u can't profit from someones image if u don't have their permission..Go ahead do it and see how fast the lawsuits come. TMZ is a blog u don't see them selling portraits of celebrities. GO GET A CLUE!

1325 days ago
42.

Glenda     

What is it with these so called famous people. Always wanting a free ride. I am sure he would not buy it from her.
Poor girl, that's what you get for trying to please a celebrity or impress them, they do not care. If they think they'll get away with it, they will.
People stop trying to impress the unimpressive.

1325 days ago
43.

esby77    

serves her right for choosing such an idiotic subject for her art! looks like she was right about him being too dumb to understand copyright laws...intellectual property is a bitch to protect even when dealing with semi-intelligent folks. don't quit your day job sweetie.

1325 days ago
44.

Bubbles The Chimp    

LOL. She captured his ugly face perfectly.

1325 days ago
45.

esby77    

dd- if it is a painted portrait then it becomes the intellectual property of the painter...she could be sued if she tried to sell a photo of him that another person took, but since she painted the image with her own hands it belongs to her and she can sell it to whomever she wants.And even if it was a photo of him, the photographer, not "the sitch" would own the image...thats exactly how people become paparazzi, by selling their photos of celebs to media outlets without the celebs permission! Just like shepard Fairey had the right to create the obama posters from an AP photo.

1325 days ago
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