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ArtGate 2015 Pits Local Artist Against Global Firm

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On May 30, Future Sensations, an innovative art exhibit that has rounded the globe from Shanhai to São Paulo, will make its final stop (and only stop in the United States), illuminating Philadelphia's Eakin's Oval until June 6. The exhibit, sponsored by the massive building materials company Saint-Gobain, "is an immersive experience with five distinct ephemeral pavilions that take visitors on a sensory journey of science, storytelling and art that celebrates the past three and a half centuries and offers glimpses into future innovations that will transform the world." But local artist Joe Boruchow feels that one of the pavilions blurs the line between inspiration and imitation.

A photo posted by Joe Boruchow (@joeboruchow) on

Joe Boruchow, known for his exquisitely intricate paper cut outs found on mailboxes, utility boxes, and free posters he gives out to lucky patrons while tending bar at Tattooed Mom's, wrote an open letter to Saint-Gobain to express his dismay at the overt similarities that he sees between Future Sensations' "Pavilion One" and his original work "A Closed System" (shown in top photo).

Boruchow writes:

A few weeks ago I was disturbed to see an article about your Future Sensations exhibit that is set to be displayed in Philadelphia from May 30th to June 6. One of the displays is a clear misappropriation of my original work called "A Closed System". I am an artist that has been publicly displaying my work in Philadelphia for the past 15 years and can't understand why you would not acknowledge and compensate me for the work that you clearly stole for your promotional display...The years of hard work that I have put in to devising my technical and artistic reputation will be severely damaged by your abuse of my rights and I am I incensed and insulted that it will be displayed in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval – a space that I aspire to show my work albeit without your commercial intentions.

Saint-Gobain recently responded to the letter, stating that they were "surprised by Mr. Boruchow's claims since the Saint-Gobain work is an independent creation of the artist Bruno Tric commissioned by Saint-Gobain's outside design firm, FC2, located in Paris, France. It was created in that city in May of 2014 and constructed in the Czech Republic thereafter. There is no indication that Mr. Tric or FC2 had access to or did actually access Mr. Boruchow's work. "

What do you think? Is this a case of artistic appropriation, or just a matter of two individuals making use of Line Art over two vastly different mediums?

· Philadelphia Artist Joe Boruchow vs. Future Sensations At The Oval [Philebrity]
· Future Sensations [Official Website]