April 12, 2011

Time Magazine rips off Charles Moffat painting

ART HISTORY/POLITICS - Time Magazine has ripped off a famous painting by Canadian artist Charles Moffat. The painting in question, "United States Censorship", was painted in September 2001 shortly after the events of September 11th.

The painting "United States Censorship" has been featured in two documentaries, including F*CK, The Film That Dare Not Speak Its Name. Its also been used by various anti-censorship organizations over the past 9 1/2 years and has become an iconic painting from the time period. The painting was also featured in a Hip Hop video.

Indeed if you do a Google image search for United States Censorship the painting is the first one in the list and there is 9 copies of it on the first page of results.

Moffat himself has been asked to sell the painting several times, but keeps refusing. He insists that if the painting is ever sold it will be to a public art gallery so it can be seen by the general public.

The Time Magazine cover in question features Julian Assange as the muzzled person in the picture, but what confirms it is a rip off is how the person is done in black and white with high chiaroscuro and only the American flag is in colour, and the background is also done in a similar way.

So did Time Magazine ask to use Moffat's painting?

"No," says Moffat. "I don't really care either. I consider it an honour and an homage. Its nice to know my painting has been so far reaching."

Moffat says he won't be pursuing any legal action for the clear rip off of his painting. "As long as they're using it for something I agree with, I don't have a problem with it. Julian Assange has been dealt a huge injustice and I fully endorse Time Magazine wanting to help clean up his reputation," says Moffat. "I painted it because I wanted to fight censorship in the wake of September 11th. I think its definitely doing that, even if the topic has changed over time."


  1. Who wrote this article? I wanted to use it for my Art Class as an article.


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