Luc Tuymans Convicted of Plagiarism

Hyperallergic’s Benjamin Sutton reports that Luc Tuymans has been convicted of plagiarism for his portrait of Belgian politician Jean-Marie Dedecker. A civil court in the artist’s hometown of Antwerp ruled that Tuyman’s A Belgian Politician, 2011, was a replica of an image shot by Katrijn Van Giel in 2010. Tuymans had argued the work was parody, and therefore protected.

“Of course they will now say it’s a parody, since that is the only way to escape judgement,” said Dieter Delarue, the lawyer representing Van Giel. “To my knowledge, Luc Tuymans is not really best known for his humorous works. This defense is more of a parody than the work itself.”

“Like many contemporary artists, the work of Luc Tuymans is based on existing images,” said Michaël De Vroey—Tuymans’s lawyer—on the ruling. “How can an artist call the world into question with his works if he isn’t allowed to use that world’s images?” He says Tuymans plans to appeal.