Hyundai Shamelessly Rips-off the Artistry of Street Artists

Whoa. That’s right, a car commercial currently airing on UK television for the Hyundai i20 appears to steal the work of at least half a dozen street artists in just 30 seconds:

I suppose the advertisers for Hyundai think they have street credibility now. No, wait, I was thinking of human-beings who give a shit about something more than money, my bad.

Stencils by JPS. Screenshot from the Hyundai ad.

  • The Monkey stencil and — The boom box using a drain pipe for one of the speakers. Two pieces likely based off of work by Dotdotdot and Banksy respectively.

In the ad’s “making of” video, we see that the pieces were executed by JPS and it is implied that they are JPS’ concepts, but that seems to be a lie.

Stencil by JPS. Screenshot from the Hyundai ad. Oakoak. Photo from Oakoak’s website.

  • The Cheerleader. Original by Sandrine Estrade Boulet again! This time, it seems Hyundai was ‘inspired’ by her “Pom Pom Girl”.

Screenshot from the Hyundai ad1 “Pom Pom Girl” by Sandrine Estrade Boulet. Photo from Sandrine Estrade Boulet’s website.

  • The teeth. Original by Sweet Toof, with his many pink gums and pearly whites on garages and security shutters. Really, the teeth are like Sweet Toof’s logo.
  • The saluting bollards. Original by Sandrine Estrade Boulet from a piece called “Army Street”, making this Boulet’s third stolen work by Hyundai before the commercial is even halfway through. Political street art now made to sell cars.

Screenshot from the Hyundai ad3 “Army Street” by Sandrine Estrade Boulet. Photo from Sandrine Estrade Boulet’s website.

  • Leaves on the crosswalk. A clear copy of Patrik Prosko‘s “Genius Loci”, except that Hyundai completely reversed the meaning of the piece from “look at how civilization and cars and roads conquer everything, even at the expense of beautiful nature,” to “look at how this car conquers everything, even nature.

Screenshot from the Hyundai ad 4 “Genius Loci” by Patrik Prosko. Photo from Patrik Prosko’s Facebook.

  • The eyeglasses in the snow. Original piece by Pasha P183 and perhaps the worst theft of them all. What’s really shameful about this one is that P183 died in 2013 (aged 29), so Hyundai could not have possibly gotten his permission for the piece. I suppose we can hope that Hyundai reached out to his family, but I doubt it.

Screenshot from the Hyundai ad 5 Piece by p183. Photo from p183’s website.

  • The bather. Hyundai tries to pass this one off as an original creation by Marco Sobreviela. Sobreviela’s sculpture however is basically a happy-go-lucky version of Isaac Cordal sculptures (see more here).

Sculpture by Marco Sobreviela. Screenshot from the Hyundai ad. Isaac Cordal sculpture at a playground in London in 2010. Photo courtesy of Isaac Cordal.

Photos from the websites of Oakoak, Sandrine Estrade Boulet, SpY, fra.biancoshock, p183, and Patrik Prosko, by Alex Ellison, courtesy of Isaac Cordal, and of course taken from Hyundai’s ad.

I like the above artist a lot (see more here). Isaac Cordal had this to say;

“A Spanish ad agency contacted me and I refused to be part of the ad because I don’t want to have my work linked to a car company. After that, they made what they wanted and the result is quite obvious. This ad affected my work in a negative way because my work is about the opposite of what it represents to appear in a car advertisement. A lot of people that follow my work are disappointed or confused. I’m very frustrated with people using the creativity of others to benefit themselves. The things we do are for everyone, not to sell cars.” ~ Isaac Cordal

This post was originally written by of (see, strange feeling isn’t it, reader, knowing someone else did most of the work you’re enjoying), they did the research and went out of their way to contact the various street artists for comment on the advert — visit their page for more info. For a look into the strange mentality behind this advert, check out the making-of video. They feature works apparently stolen from other artists that didn’t make it into the final cut of the ad. I understand the concept of inspiration and creativity, but not at the expense of blindly “emulating” other artist then claiming the efforts as their own works. This making-of video is so topsy-turvy to me because their all so proud of it!

To recap: Hyundai undeniably and unapologetically stole a bunch of street art for a commercial while trying to make it look like they were supporting artists. Damn corporate advertisers aye. Here’s one for ya, I call it “generation shame”:


~ by Fionnlagh on July 13, 2015.

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