I came upon a tweet this week by Lisa Congdon, an artist and blogger whose work I love. It simply stated “@CodyFosterAndCo has blatantly ripped off my artwork on their products without permission or compensation.” Lisa referenced this unauthorized use through the flickr stream Indieripoffs, who posted this image showing Lisa’s original designs next to items in Cody Foster & Co.’s product catalog:
Where do I come in to all of this and why am I talking about it here? Because I sell items from Cody Foster & Co. in my shop. At least I used to. My initial disgust at what was being done to Lisa turned into great concern when I learned that they are, and have been, copying from many other artists as well. One in particular is Cassandra Smith, one of my favorite artists that I carry in the shop. See how they transferred her painted antler designs onto ornaments:
Ugh. It’s just so gross.
Effective immediately, I have removed any items produced by Cody Foster & Co. from the shop. As a reference, they include the following:
There was also a collection that I recently ordered from them that never made it onto the site. It was a collection of wood-mounted small felt animal heads. For an idea of what these look like, take a look at the work of Canadian-based artist Sabine Alpers.
I was an unwitting accessory to these crimes against authenticity and I cannot continue to be a part of it. I realize my small protest won’t mean much to Cody Foster & Co.’s bottom line. (I’ll leave that to the big guns at West Elm). But what it means to me is that, in my small way, I can continue to support the independent artists that I feature at Home Remedy. In addition to Lisa and Cassandra, there is so much original and exciting work being produced by talents such as Tara Hogan, Laura Zindel, Jason Russell, and Xenia Taler, to name only a few. As a shop owner, I will strive to make better choices in featuring products that showcase their inspiring talent.
–Yelena Cardinal, Founder of Home Remedy NYC, Inc.