Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Cheesecake Boys" book will be out in November

Here's the cover for my upcoming art book, Cheesecake Boys:

It will include all of my pin-up work to date, plus a foreword by actor/columnist Jesse Archer and an afterword by artist Jason Driskill. I can't wait for everyone to see it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I've Been Bootlegged! Part 2

As I detailed in my previous post, I discovered yesterday that there is an organization called MJART Gallery based in China reproducing my artwork and selling it on ebay. I wanted to follow up with some more infuriating developments as well as share my latest Cheesecake Boy piece (above). Ok, so maybe Cai Jiang Xun isn't the sexiest model I've ever depantsed, but as you will read momentarily, he definitely had it coming!

After I wrote about this on my blog yesterday, I received many messages from people expressing outrage over the situation. Several artists got in touch to let me know they had experienced the same thing, one person whose work was actually being sold by this same lovely fellow. They told me that ebay's policies are lackluster at best on this issue, a point which I learned for myself shortly thereafter. Ebay will remove the specific listing after a complaint is filed (which happened in the case of my two paintings yesterday), but they won't cancel the seller's account. Apparently, these art criminals wait a week and then re-post the same stolen work until they get caught again, raking in as much money in the meantime as possible.

In addition to filing a complaint with ebay, I also reported the incident to the Internet Crime Complaint Center on the FBI website. No word from them yet. I also decided to do a little investigating of my own. I wrote to Cai Jiang Xun anonymously from a Gmail account I created especially for him. The response I received today blew me away and literally left me shaking with rage. Here's my e-mail to him:

And his response:
Attached to the e-mail were twenty one jpegs -- all works of art that I have created with my signature carefully removed. Here are a few examples:

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much I can do from a legal standpoint. But I will definitely do everything I can to spread the word about this issue, and hope that you'll help me raise awareness among all of your friends who share or buy artwork online. Please feel free to forward this post to anyone who you think might find it useful.

As for Cai Jiang Xun, "Lawrence" is going to continue to try and learn more about this brilliant artist who has been "experienced in gay man oil painting more than 28 years." Maybe I can gather enough information to really catch him with his pants down! I'll keep you posted...

UPDATE (9/1)
My on-going conversation with Cai Jiang Xun has become quite interesting! I even have some friends joining in on the fun and we have managed to convince him to answer interview questions, sign copyright protection forms (to protect "his" intellectual property, of course!) and send us a bio and photo of himself with one of my paintings! The correspondence has grown too big for this blog post, so click here for all the juicy details: I'VE BEEN BOOTLEGGED!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I've Been Bootlegged!

Today I received an e-mail tipping me off that someone on ebay is selling my work and claiming it as their own. I was speechless when I clicked on the link and found two of my paintings being touted as the work of someone named Cai Jiang Xun. Even more surprising is the fact that the two original paintings, On Display, Starring Michael Breyette and Size Matters, Starring Jack Mackenroth are still in my possession. I can only assume that this fraud is printing low-res images on canvas and "enhancing" them somehow.

Even though I have a lot of fun with my art career (how can you not when you paint people losing their pants?), I do take my work very seriously. I feel completely violated and outraged at the sight of my art with someone else's copyright statement plastered across it.


And aside from everything else that's wrong with this situation, what in the hell is up with these hideous frames? Furthermore, Cai Jiang Xun's listing encourages interested parties to submit wholesale inquiries, so he obviously has plans of mass-production. Looking at his profile, I see that he has already made 362 sales.

I am going to include all of the information I have discovered in the hopes that you will pass this along to anyone you know who creates or purchases art. Cai Jiang's ebay store, MJART, has over 1500 items, and I can only assume that the merchandise offerings have been stolen from many other artists. I am reporting this to ebay so I am unsure if his account will remain active after their review. However, at the present time all of these links work:

Fraudulent listing of On Display, Starring Michael Breyette
Fraudulent listing of Size Matters, Starring Jack Mackenroth
MJART Gallery's ebay store
MJART Gallery's profile

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hollywood to Dollywood

I was excited to create a movie poster for the upcoming film starring twin models Gary and Larry Lane called Hollywood to Dollywood. The movie documents their Wizard of Oz-esque journey across country to meet Dolly! The poster will also be featured in the November 8 episode of Celebrity Chefs of Beverly Hills on the Food Network as the Lane Twins host a dinner party for celebrity guests, serving up treats from Dolly's cookbook. See pics from the Food Network taping HERE.

Shadows from the Past

Over the last month, I asked everyone to help me get “uncovered” -- and you came through! In the Uncovered 2 contest, four of my recent cover illustrations were vying for the chance to become a limited-edition giclee print. But as they say on every reality show known to mankind, “only ONE could be the winner...and America has chosen!” The winning image is Shadows from the Past from the novel by Lisa Marie Davis. The winner of the first print in the series plus the corresponding novel is Zahra Owens. Congratulations! Giclee prints are now available for the first day reduced price of $32.50 in my Etsy store HERE.

I announced the winner this morning on Michele and Jeff's Review blog, and also shared some stories and pictures of my artistic escapades through the years. I even dug up a whole slew of photos from the archives (a.k.a. my parents' basement) to go along with the post. Check it out HERE.

Here's one of the aforementioned photos (isn't he a snappy dresser?):

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Love Conquers All: Art for Equality

I'm excited to be a part of this weekend's "Love Conquers All: Art For Equality" group show at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, CA. Thinkspace will be offering limited-edition prints of my painting Noah's Gay Wedding CruiseThe exhibition supports the fight for equality and aims to raise awareness for the LGBT struggle in the process. "Love Conquers All" features the work of over 50 international artists and promises to open eyes and encourage dialogue. The exhibit runs from 8/7/10 through 8/28/10. The opening reception is Saturday, August 7 from 7-10 pm. Click HERE for more details. 20% of proceeds from all works sold will benefit Equality California.