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Artist Felix D’Eon Accuses A Wholesaler Of Copying His Design To Sell To Big Box Stores

felixdeon / Instagram

Felix d’Eon is a Mexico City-based artist who uses his Mexican heritage to create queer Latinx art. Recently, d’Eon accused Target and Mad Engine of copying one of his designs and selling them. According to d’Eon, his “La Bandera” design was copied to a t-shirt that was sold at Target stores and online. He drew “La Bandera” two years ago for a pride line of art work and was angry to see it recreated for profit.

Artist Felix d’Eon is upset that Target has profited off of art copied from his art.

“I was upset when I first saw the image; it seemed clearly inspired by my painting, and it struck me as deeply unfair that I, as an independent, struggling artist, without their reserves of cash, should have my work stolen by a major corporation for their profit,” d’Eon says. “I was upset that I was not consulted before hand.”

Target responded on Twitter to d’Eon’s accusations and disclosed that the shirts came from a vendor.

In a now-deleted tweet, d’Eon identified the vendor who made the t-shirt as Mad Engine. The San Diego-based wholesaler has not responded to mitú‘s requests for comment.

“When you see the two paintings side by side, though, its pretty obvious that they copied me,” d’Eon says. “I find it upsetting that my version is a lot more beautiful, and a cheap, ugly imitation with the same sentiment is the version that should become the one that people would end up wearing.”

D’Eon is disheartened to see big companies consistently profiting off of independent artists.

“These large companies, like H&M, Target, and Forever 21 stealing the work of designers and artists creates an atmosphere in which it is extremely difficult to work, as a creative person,” d’Eon argues. “Its disheartening to be a struggling artist, and find that a major corporation, with immensely deep pockets, and all the money in the world to spend on lawyers, would sell your work, while you yourself struggle.”

The situation speaks to a larger societal problem where artists are undervalued and minorities are misrepresented, says d’Eon.

“It speaks ill of both the company and society that copyrights are protected for corporations, but individuals without those resources have no way to protect themselves,” d’Eon says. “I think that customers should boycott companies that engage in these practices, and support independent artists and designers.”

Mad Engine’s CEO Danish Gajiani did speak to d’Eon according to a post on his Instagram page.

I spoke to the Ceo of Madengine, the company which produced the queer Latinx pride t-shirt which was subsequently sold by Target. They suggested that it is a coincidence that their image looks so much like mine, which is something I cannot disprove, given the similarity of my own painting to the original “La Bandera” card. The question of cultural appropriation, and misappropriation, however, is not ambiguous; the non Latinx model, the lack of an “El” or a “La” before the word “bandera” which suggests a lack of familiarity with the original game, and the CEO’s inability to tell me if any Latinx or queer people were actually involved in the design or production of the t-shirt, including the artist, suggest that no Latinx people actually had a hand in the design of the Queer Latinx Pride shirt. He listened to me and apologised, and offered me a line of t-shirts and other products which would be Latinx or Queer in theme. He also suggested that in the future he would make certain that members of minority groups would be involved in the process of making products geared towards said groups. I hope sincerely that Madengine does in fact do what was promised, and that Target does something similar. Instead of making products for minority communities without the involvement of said communities, such as the queer Latinx community in this particular case, I hope that they also reach out and make certain that Latinx artists are hired and supported, and queer Latinx individuals consulted, so that they are not simply capitalising on minority communities by trying to take our dollars, but also listening to us so that our concerns and opinions are addressed and queer and Latinx artists and models are supported. @target @madengine

A post shared by Félix D'Eon (@felixdeon) on

The original Lotería game includes the articles “El” or “La” in front of the subject name. D’Eon says that the lack of the articles is calling more attention to the lack of diversity in these offices appropriating Latinx culture.

“Furthermore, the decision to use white models to advertise a Mexican themed gay pride t-shirt is inexplicable to me,” d’Eon explains. “I suspect no actual Latinos were involved at any point in this, which is to say, that this is also an issue of cultural appropriation.”

D’Eon does state in his post that the Mad Engine CEO has expressed a desire to create a Latinx line of clothing with input from D’Eon to do it right.

Let us know.


READ: La Sirena Just Met Her Match With This Queer Chicanx’s El Sireno Lotería Card

Share your pride on social media using #QueerLatinoPride and #StoriesOfUs. We can’t wait to see how you celebrate pride!

Two Women In Montana Were Approached By A Border Patrol Agent While At A Gas Station For Speaking Spanish

Things That Matter

Two Women In Montana Were Approached By A Border Patrol Agent While At A Gas Station For Speaking Spanish

@adamcbest / Twitter

Two women were detained last week by a U.S. Border Patrol agent after he overheard them speaking Spanish at a gas station in Havre, Montana. Ana Suda and Mimi Hernandez, both legal residents, were purchasing milk and eggs and were chatting in Spanish when the patrol agent began questioning them. Suda began filming the incident and caught the patrol agent saying, “The reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here.”

Here’s the video of the border patrol agent telling two women they were questioned and detained because they were “speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of” in Montana.

The women paid for their items and then were asked to give their ID’s to the patrol agent for identification. One of the women can be heard saying that their detainment was racial profiling because they were speaking Spanish.

“I was so embarrassed being outside in the gas station, and everybody’s looking at you like you’re doing something wrong,” Suda told The Washington Post. “I don’t think speaking Spanish is something criminal, you know?”

The video has caught the attention of civil liberties groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who are questioning the incident.

Havre, Montana, is about 35 miles south of the U.S.-Canada border. The city is within the 100-mile zone that Border Patrol can use to conduct immigration checkpoints. Yet according to the ACLU website, border patrol agents “cannot pull anyone over without ‘reasonable suspicion’ of an immigration violation or crime.” According to The Washington Post, Suda plans to take legal action against the agency.

The incident sparked outrage on social media.

https://twitter.com/jalbacutler/status/998356677668851712

U.S. Customs & Border Protection sent the following statement to a local Montana News Station regarding the detainment.

“Although most Border Patrol work is conducted in the immediate border area, agents have broad law enforcement authorities and are not limited to a specific geography within the United States. They have the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence.”

This story comes less than a week after New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg went on a rant about people speaking Spanish.

https://twitter.com/senorchungo/status/998276193802694657

Many are questioning the reasoning behind the detainment and if this is just another example of racial profiling in the United State that has become quite common recently. Last week a New York attorney went on a racist rant that went viral after he was angered by employees and customers speaking Spanish. Hopefully this doesn’t become the new norm in America where speaking multiple languages should be celebrated not deemed a threat.


READ: The New York Attorney Who Went On Rant Against Spanish-Speakers Cowers From Media

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