Controversy has once again reared its ugly head as the recently launched Outlaws NFT collection has been accused of using copycat artwork. The designs have led some collectors criticize the project’s creative approach, claiming it is too similar to the work of artist Jeremy Booth, who is well-known in the NFT space for his minimalist and cinematic approach to Western-themed art.
One self-described NFT artist named Sadboi expressed feeling “conflicted” over the Outlaws project, describing it as an “obvious reproduction” of Booth’s work.
So… I’m pretty conflicted about that new pfp collection thats a pretty obvious reproduction of what another artist is doing here.
I know that his style isn’t new, and I know that the subject matter isn’t new… but together? Was kind of that artists thing, no? Moral grey area.
— SADBOI (@Sadboi0808) April 14, 2023
However, others, such as the pseudonymous art curator Artifaction², have suggested that accusations of plagiarism are overblown and that Western-style art has a long history that predates both Booth and Outlaws.
The NFT space has a truly bewildering set of collectors and keyboard warriors that believe any inspiration taken from any artist is a rip off.
I’ve been collecting this kind of art for almost 30 years. Yes, I’m THAT old lol.
I’m not asking you to be an art historian, just… pic.twitter.com/UWe11F0CMs
— Artifaction² (@Artifaction2) April 15, 2023
Outlaws has responded to the allegations of plagiarism, stating that its style and inspiration were drawn from a diverse range of artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles Marion Russell, and Albert Bierstadt, as well as iconic Western films such as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “The Magnificent Seven.” According to the Outlaws Twitter account, the project made it clear that it was not affiliated with Jeremy Booth’s work and did not attempt to represent itself. The account also highlighted other artists, including Malika Favre and Levente Szabo, as influencers of the PFP collection’s flat style.
5) We DM’d Jeremy to offer his boots holders a mint. We also RT’d his Tweet saying he isn’t affiliated – we’ve never tried to pass of that we are him and have been clear on that.
— Outlaws (@outlawsdotwtf) April 13, 2023
Jeremy Booth is not Affiliated With Outlaws
Booth has made it clear that he is not affiliated with Outlaws, and while he acknowledged that the release of the project had an impact on him, he has chosen to “be better than bitter” and focus on creating more Western art. At the time of writing, Outlaws was listed as a trending project on OpenSea’s homepage, and the collection had turned 2,761 Ethereum in total sales volume with over 2,949 unique owners.
Just to be clear – my issue isn’t the style. We need to champion more Western art in this space. I’m actually working on something right now that will help accomplish this goal.
My *only* issue was what I already tweeted about. (I.e explicitly using my name in DMs to prospective…
— jeremybooth (@jeremybooth) April 15, 2023
The controversy surrounding Outlaws highlights the complexities and sensitivities of the NFT art scene, where the speculative nature of many projects can bring heightened awareness to similarities between different artists.
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