Inspiration or insulation? Juergen Teller accused of copying Mickalene Thomas for Rihanna photoshoot

For some, the editorial had too many similarities to the black photographer’s work.

In recent times the issue of ownership comes up time and time again. Media outlets jump on the next stole idea scandal as we saw recently with the Trixie Matel look-a-like on the cover of LOVE magazine. And it’s happened again! (Is anyone surprised?)

Juergen Teller has been accused on Twitter of copying the aesthetic of fellow photographer Mickalene Thomas whom he shares a gallery with. The comparison was brought to light on Monday by various Twitter users who agreed that Teller’s photos of Rihanna for Vogue borrowed heavily fro, Thomas’ artistic style without any accreditation.

The editorial in question actually appeared six months ago in the Dec/Jan 17/18 edition of Vogue Paris but it has been dragged back into the limelight for your scrutiny.

One of Thomas’ colleges via Twitter

Image from Teller’s editorial via Vogue Paris

On the internet it is almost impossible to be completely 100% original as it is a melting post of inspirations however if you do decide to reference someone be it artist, photographer or designer, how hard is it really to mention their influence on your work?

Teller has yet to comment on the scandal however Teller and Thomas’ gallery spokesperson said they were no involved with the commercial aspect of his photography and would continue to represent the photographer for his more artistic projects. They said of Thomas that they recognise the work Thomas produces directly relates to tackling ideas of inclusivity and narratives in art practice especially regarding race but they hope the two can still resolve this issue.