Notwithstanding our promise of poo will be flung, it is never our intention to malign any individual, but rather to hold the entire field of entertainment advertising up to ridicule.
With that in mind, we wish to highlight the refudiation made by Rob McFarlane in the comments section of our February 6 post “Monkey See, Monkey Steal” in which we mave implied that Mr. McFarlane is a thieving monkey: We apologize and we stand corrected.*
I almost didn't post at all because (at the risk of sounding like Woody Allen) the whole issue seems so absurd. As anyone who's ever worked with me can attest, I'm perfectly capable of coming up with my own mediocre concepts without having to steal them from Anne Kingston's brother. With all due respect to Mr. Kingston, if I'm going to rip-off another designer I'll stick with the likes of Stephen Frankfurt, Saul Bass, and Milton Glaser. In any event, I appreciate the chance to share my side of the story with the four or five people who are likely to care.
Sincerely, Rob McFarlane
Here is a repost of Mr. McFarlane's comment:
As the guy who wrote the copy line and came up with concept for the Ant Farm “Family Stone” poster I fully admit to stealing the idea. I stole it from an unused concept sketch I did for “The Third Wife’s Club” back in 1995 (I’ve found that if you keep submitting the same idea over and over there’s a chance it’ll eventually stick). Suffice to say I’d never laid eyes on the Anne Kingston book cover prior to the point at which Fox contacted the Ant Farm.
More to the point, Fox’s lawyers were able to produce at least one other example of the same basic concept having been produced prior to Ms. Kingston’s book cover (a European album cover, if memory serves). What’s amusing is to me is that Ms. Kingston regards the ring/ finger concept as being so original and unique that only her brother could have conceived it.
My only regret is that Rupert Murdoch never asked me to join forces with him in an evil plot to steal an obscure, and not terribly inventive, dust jacket concept. Because that would have been awesome!
…In an earlier post I’d made mention of an album cover, but I'm pretty sure I was thinking of thisKurt Cobain photo. Point being (for the three or four of you who still care) if anyone got ripped-off it was probably Cobain and his photographer.
*Not to be confused with standing with Art Corrector/Art Korrector, a known provocateur and lanceur de poo here on MonKeyArtAwards.
On the left, a poster created by The Ant Farm in 2005. On the right, a poster created by mOcean in 2013. I see a few similarities here. I'm glad you're posting again!
Well, neither augurs well for the state of matrimony, but the one on the right is merely an example of Monkey See, Monkey Do Something Different, while the one on the left clearly says, “Fuck you, Robert Kingston!”
Anne Kingston’s The Meaning of Wife was published in 2004. The concept for the book cover came from the author's brother, Robert Kingston, who works as a creative director in advertising in Toronto. When The Family Stone poster came out, Anne's lawyers contacted Fox requesting that it change the key art.
"It's a total uphill battle," she said. "We're dealing with Rupert Murdoch, right? But it's just infuriating."
Update: One of our readers, a Mr. Phillip Bates, has pointed out the one sheet for Committed (2000) which predates the book jacket design.
If you’re like us, you didn’t know nothing about nothing
until you discovered Wikipedia on the
Internets. We didn’t even know our fellow key artists were ripping off some
19th century German romantic (pardon the oxymoron) painter until one of readers
sent us this article on Caspar David Friedrich’s "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog"
One might assume that international posters are beyond our jurisdiction and art
directors can therefore misappropriate designs without being subject to
chastisement; but the
fact is that many of these foreign language one-sheets are perpetrated right
here in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles.
Don’t count on us looking the other way just because the tag line is written in total gibberish.