“Dark Knight Rises” Promo Campaign Stealing from the Street?

Posted on: May 2nd, 2012 at 6:28 am by

Back in February, we shed some light on the awesome “Stop Superheroes” campaign that popped up across the Lower East Side. The artist behind the project, Skye Greenfield, intimated that this was not a publicity stunt, but rather street discourse on the age-old fight of good versus evil within the context of well-known comic characters.

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Fast forward two months, with the marketing machine of Warner Bros. in full gear for the hotly-anticipated Dark Knight Rises. Promo posters for the movie have gone viral online, and are suspiciously similar to the grassroots “experiment” created by the superhero Greenfield. Angered at the possibility of being ripped off, she reached out to us in an email to give her two cents:

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My name is Skye Greenfield. I graduated from the School of Visual Arts May of 2011 with a BFA in photography. While I was in my last year – September 2010 – of college I began working on “Wanted.” Over the past two years, this project has evolved from photographs, to photographs and text, to a scrap book; and most recently to wanted posters each featuring a mug shot of a villainous superhero and an explanation of crimes. For the past 6 months I have been hanging these posters on streetlamps and other public places around New York City as well as Washington DC and San Francisco.

This past February, you were kind enough to take an interest in my work and run an article about it. Since then, West Side Rag has also run an article on “Wanted” and I have received countless emails from “concerned citizens” offering tips and sightings on these dangerous criminals. When The Dark Knight Returns ad campaign hit yesterday, I was shocked to find a Batman Wanted Poster among the many “police documents” that were “leaked” to the public.

The Warner Brothers version boasts similar wording to my original poster. Warner Brothers may own the rights to Batman but I own my idea. This is not a project that I have been working on in secret or have been hiding from the world; it is a project that I have aggressively showcased on the streets of New York for six months. I have contacted Warner Brothers informing them of my prior work but have not heard back. I find it appalling and shameful that a company such as Warner Brothers would rather steal from an independent artist than do the courtesy of asking.

What do you think – intentional or coincidental?

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