Supreme, the skateboard and apparel brand, very clearly appropriated the aesthetic of legendary conceptual artist Barbara Kruger. Now they are taking another designer to court for appropriating their aesthetic — and Kruger is none too happy about everyone ripping her off.
Supreme is taking Leah McSweeney of Married to the MOB to court over her "Supreme Bitch" products in the format of Supreme's logo, which features white block letters over red text. As David Shapiro of New York points out McSweeney had applied to trademark "Supreme Bitch," when Supreme stepped in with the suit. But, as Complex's Foster Kamer wrote Thursday afternoon, Supreme's logo was very obviously borrowed from Kruger's art work. (That much even appears in the complaint.) See, Supreme first opened up shop in 1994. Kruger had been using that typography long before then in works like 1987's "We Don't Need Another Hero":
So Complex's Kamer reached out to Kruger to ask about Supreme's apparent hypocrisy, and she responded "in the form of a blank email, with an attachment." The attachment read:
What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers. I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I'm waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement.
It's hard to tell whether Kruger is just referring to Supreme or to both Supreme and McSweeney, but her response is undeniably awesome, and aware of the amazing amount of irony involved in this whole case.