Some of you are familiar with my recent run-in with a character by the name of Mark Bruton who was caught plagiarizing artwork from the internet. I was one of his victims, as he stole a John Wayne portrait of mine, altered it, and was selling it on his web page as his own art.
Following a fairly severe backlash from the online art community, and a cease and desist letter from yours truly, Bruton took down his web page, privatized his facebook, and seemingly disappeared.
Well, it's been about a month and Bruton is back. Two days ago he republished his web page and is back in business . . . and he seems to be up to his old tricks again. Or at least he was until he was called out, yet again.
This time around, the art in question is not mine so I won't post it here on my blog, however if you're interested, here is a compilation of works that Bruton has ripped off, one of which featuring a certain bodybuilder-turned-politician was involved in this current Bruton scenario.
Since it's not my art, I have little control over the situation, but I did email Bruton and assure him that the original artists would be informed. Soon after that he took the questionable works down. I don't know if this was because of my email or because one of the original artists came down on him. Regardless, the images are down and Bruton is no longer using them to market himself.
I'm not sure what it's going to take to convince this guy that stealing another person's art is wrong and illegal, but I can say that I'm beginning to loose patience with Mark Bruton and his childish antics. If anything, perhaps he will realize that he is being (and always will be) closely watched.
I really hope that anyone who is considering making an art purchase from Mark Bruton will come across stories like mine and will be inclined to make an educated decision as to whether or not the art he is selling is legit, and whether or not he deserves their business.
This is a call to all hard working artists out there to please help keep Mark Bruton and characters like him as honest as possible. Spread the word.