Art Market

H&M and the street artist Revok resolved a legal feud and will make donations to Detroit arts groups.

Alex Wexelman
Sep 6, 2018 4:48PM, via Detroit Free Press

The Los Angeles street artist Revok announced on Instagram yesterday that after a lengthy back-and-forth, he and clothing retailer H&M have come to “a solution that recognizes the importance of public art and will also benefit arts organizations in need of support.”

In January, Jason “Revok” Williams’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist to retail giant H&M after an advertising campaign for the Swedish company featured a mural by the artist (something of a trend in the advertising world). H&M responded by suing Revok in March, claiming that because the mural in question was done illegally it was not protected by copyright.

Supporters of Revok and street art started a campaign to boycott the company, prompting H&M to drop the suit and issue an apology. “We should have acted differently in our approach to this matter,” the company said in a statement. “It was never our intention to set a precedent concerning public art or to influence the debate on the legality of street art. As a result, we are withdrawing the complaint filed in court.”

Now, there’s a happy ending to the legal fracas. Revok and H&M are making an undisclosed, “significant contribution” to City Year, Living Arts Detroit, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s (MOCAD) Teen Council, and the Empowerment Plan—all Detroit-based arts organizations.

“Detroit is a special place to me, where I spent several years living and working, and a city that will always feel like home,” Revok wrote on Instagram.

Alex Wexelman
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