Noli Novak, a staff artist at the Wall Street Journal responsible for some of the paper’s trademark stipple portraits, has called out Spanish artist José-María Cano for plagiarizing her drawing of President Obama in a piece of artwork he produced.
The drawing a question, a portrait of Obama done for the Journal in May of 2008, was clearly used as the basis for Cano’s piece, replicated using a technique of painting with hot wax. Cano’s painting was then given to President Obama in Prague by former Czech Republic president Václav Havel.
The artwork in question was from Cano’s ‘The Wall Street 100,’ a series of paintings inspired from newsprint.
Novak, who herself used photographs to create her drawings, argues that she’s transforming them into something new, while Cano is simply replicating her working and passing it on to others as his own.
“This means a copy of a drawing I made was given as a gift to Vaclav Havel who then re-gifted it for president Obama?! And it’s now hanging in the White House?!” an angry Novak sarcastically posted on her blog. “You can bet your knickers I will do my damndest to let the President know he was scammed by the Spaniards and the Czechs!”