Sam Flores print looks way too close for comfort

Sam Flores is a fairly well established artist in the modern/street art scene, often appearing in mags like Juxtapoz.  Being a fairly big name in the art world, it came as quite a shock when it was pointed out that one of his most recent limited edition prints (advertised here: http://omgposters.com/2009/07/23/dragon-tree-art-print-by-sam-flores/, noted for plagiarism in the comments) appears to be almost entirely lifted from a painting by comic and book illustrator Jon Foster.

Jon Foster's Dragon and Herdsman, 2006

Jon Foster's Dragon and Herdsman, 2006

Sam Flores' Dragon Tree, 2009

Sam Flores' Dragon Tree, 2009

And just in case those aren’t clear enough, an animated overlay for comparison.

Animated Gif Overlay

Animated Gif Overlay

I never expect someone so established and well known as Sam Flores has become to resort to such obvious copying, and it’s a little more surprising to use someone like Jon Foster, who is a very big name in the illustration world right now.  So far, Jon has been trying to make contact and Sam has yet to comment or respond to any of this.

193 comments

  • Theres another new image of his that looks awfully lifted as well…definitely caught my eye before that show.
    http://www.subliminalprojects.com/main/exhibitions/egoaddictionotherbedtimes/flores_0.jpg

  • sam flores is a talentless hack!

  • gasp!
    sam flores is one of my faves…
    this blows. such a 1:1 bite.
    he’s actually one of the artists i worried would have an unintended influence on my own art, but hell, an influence is one thing, a full rip SUCH another.
    i guess some people have more integrity than others.
    fucker…

  • Produce an original piece of work and there is a guaranteed reference behind it. Haters…

  • wow..

  • @j. sooner

    Inspiration is one thing. Reference is another. There is a difference… this is plagiarism.

  • plagiarism, not reference! The dragon, leaves, AND tree are the same! Way to kill your own career, Flores. I hope jon brings an infringement lawsuit against him

  • First and foremost, I’d like to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone I’ve offended regarding a mistake I’ve made recently reinterpreting a Jon Foster image. Before I explain the carelessness that led to this, I want you to know that I have already contacted him directly and offered all compensation made from the posters, as well as a public apology for not thoroughly researching my source of inspiration. I was looking online awhile ago searching for old illustrations from the 1900s and came across a small image of a tree painting that I dragged to my desktop. It was on the same page as Arthur Rackham’s paintings, and my mistake was assuming it also belonged to Rackham, and revisiting the image without thorough research, i wanted to have one of my characters visiting his painting as sort of a homage . There’s absolutely no excuse for this neglect on my behalf, and I’ve learned a huge lesson in all this to always do your homework. I never intended to deliberately use his art and pass it off as my own. My biggest regret, however, was meeting such a talented artist under such unfortunate and preventable circumstances, and undermining his work on account of my negligence. Once again, I apologize if I let anyone down and promise to be more responsible as a working artist humbly in the presence of exceptionally talented peers.

  • Thank you Sam, but I do want to be clear to all reading. I would like the image that used my work to be taken down and no other financial gain made by it’s use.

    Also to be clear as I have read that some or misconstruing Sam’s message, I have not asked for or taken any money from Sam.

    Jon Foster

  • idiocy aboundeth

    It utterly baffles me how ANYONE can excuse or try to explain away this kind of swipe. Not only that, but some are so invested in the swiper that they actually start in one the original artist who’s been ripped off. Can anyone explain it to me? It’s like a form of cultish insanity to refuse to see the obvious.

    Because this is a ripoff, folks. And being found with one’s hand in the cookie jar is just that–plain busted. There’s no excuse whatsoever, not when the image is so identical as this. No amount of excuses for the artist “well, he might have seen the same old source material”, or “the original guy is lucky that he was ‘borrowed’ from because I never heard of HIM, nyah” etc etc.

    It makes no difference which one you like better or if you are ignorant of the first artist’s work, or whether he(as here) is a well known and successful working illustrator. It’s wrong no matter how famous or obscure the artists are, either of them. Plagiarism is wrong, period. It’s also illegal and actionable in cases like this. Because it’s wrong.

    Anyone who calls themselves an artist on any level should have the common sense to now that if they’re going to steal they had damn well better change at least 50% of the image. This example here is evidence of unbelievable gall and rank laziness besides. Frankly Flores has just blown his legitimate career and rep.

    “Reinterpreting”?! What utter bull.

  • idiocy aboundeth

    Sam Flores: you thought this was by Arthur Rackham? Links to that page, please. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find again.

    Perhaps you might have been on a site with Rackham, as his work is in the P.D. Well, you blew it and you have to destroy all evidence of this work of “yours” as it isn’t Rackham but Jon Foster’s, and its existence is a needless distraction from the living, copyright-protected artist you did take it from. You make an attempt to apologise heartily but your hand has been caught in the cookie jar, flat out and you are busted. The only thing you can possibly hope for is to eradicate your swipe from the face of the earth and work on your own, original, non-”homage” skills. Personally I think as far as your credibility goes you’re toast but obviously your fans are more generous.

    PS: I apologise for any typos in my first comment. This subject makes me furious and I type faster than I should.

  • I don’t understand how Sam thinks copying Arthur Rackham’s work would have been any better. A rip is a rip. Even if it was supposed to be homage to Arthur Rackham he never mentioned it until now. And its a straight up tracing.

  • I love how everyone wants to go in on Sam.

    He publicly said sorry and agreed to make amends. What else do you want? That’s a lot more than most people ever do on this website.

    I don’t care what any on this site says. Behind every great artist is a lot of hard work and a lot of referencing.

    If an artist draws the same composition in their own style it still has merit.

    I bet if you asked Sam what his inspiration behind the print was he would say “Oh I found this drawing on the internet and so on…” I highly doubt he would try and claim he came up with the completely original composition of a person sitting in a tree. It’s just not that bad in the grand scheme of things.

    I know plenty of renowned artists that have folders of FFFFound.com images sitting on their computer that use them for the very same purpose.

  • thoughtprovoker

    glad both parties could weigh in. interesting stuff lately.

    I’m just baffled that someone who’s already ‘made it’ as an insanely good illustrator, would trace an existing image without trying to alter it more.

  • @1981

    I appreciate that Sam is sorry for his actions but it is still inexcusable. People are weighing in their own opinions on the matter. For my two cents, Sam’s illustration is more than the same composition. The dragon, trees, and leaves are as close to tracing as you can get, He could have put a woman in a tree with a dragon and had it be entirely different, but he did not. That is what is angering many people here. Yes it is pretty near impossible to come up with a completely new composition or idea, but that is entirely different than this, which is a tracing with a different color palette.

    For the record, it is that bad. Sam was making money off of it until he was called out and busted. It could be worse, but he could have avoided the entire situation, too.

  • perceptionist

    He messed up and apologized. Get over it. It’s a learning experience for Sam Flores and hopefully he will never make this mistake again. We all make mistakes. Although I am a fan of Sam Flores I am happy he was caught. It was wrong regardless if it was Jon Foster’s or not.

  • Eh, this is outright plagiarism, and (the real icing on the top) done by tracing. It’s not the sort of thing a “respected artist” can just apologize for and chalk up as a ‘learning experience.’ As I see it, this is also not a topic that you can dismiss so simply with ‘get over it.’

  • If you meant this to be a homage, then why didn’t you pick a well known iconic painting of Rackham? Now you chose a painting that is so obscure to you that you didn’t even know it wasn’t made by Rackham!

  • I have to disagree with someone like perceptionist who would like us to just “get over it” becauce I am not sure an apology that says “I am sorry I traced off of one person, I thought I was tracing off of another person” really resolves much of anything. It was a nice gesture to apologize, but the apology falls flat when the underlying message is that his intent was still to steal from SOMEONE… isn’t that just saying “I’m sorry I got caught”? Especially flat coming from a widely respected “pro.”

  • Get off your “every great artist traces” bullshit. Yes, I know it’s called ‘referencing’ now, but it’s tracing.

    It took me a long ass time to get where I am now. No school, no copying, no ‘referencing’. A lot of sitting and watching and drawing. I keep pictures of trees dogs and boobs to use as references in the truest sense of the word. Shit sucks man and I may be mediocre but I’m a solid mediocre. Enough with trying to defend this jackass. His half hearted apology is more of an insult. He didn’t even see what he should be sorry for “Sorry man, I copied your shit instead of this other guy”. Fuck no.

  • Haters will hate – but it is just the composition that was lifted. The illustrations are clearly different styles and Sam undoubtedly still put a lot of effort into the piece. The dragon looks hella generic in both illustrations anyhow.

  • It’s a shame that in the U.S., where people are supposed to praise individual accomplishment and an individual’s right to property (including intellectual property), people consider such unethical, and absolutely blatant theft by a professional to be a “learning experience,” as one poster put it. Sam Flores most likely had no intention of apologizing if he wasn’t caught, and therefore, should not be given credit because he chose to apologize after the fact.

    In other countries, when they catch people pulling stunts like this, they see them for what they really are, thieves, and make them pay for what they’ve done as such. Just look at similar cases of tracing and plagiarism in Japan, where people’s entire careers are over if they’re caught stealing what is essentially someone else’s livelihood and calling it their own.

    Sam Flores is a well-known, professional artist, who most likely has witnessed countless people copying his own, hopefully original, work in the past. I’m sure he didn’t think very kindly of the people who did that to him, so it puzzles me why he would knowingly do the same to someone else.

    But assuming that this was an isolated mistake on his part, I truly feel sorry for him, because this case will most likely set a precedent for how all of both his past and future work will be judged. His entire body of work will probably go under scrutiny for similar cases of theft, and this time, he will not get the benefit of the doubt, even if it was just a total coincidence.

  • I really do believe that great work comes from standing on the shoulders of those artists that come before you, but c’mon, it looks like Sam just pulled the piece and used the program “Vector Magic”. one push of a button and the art is now all vectors ready to be used (and poorly done vectors to boot!). not only is it a plain rip off, but its just lazy. I never thought sam’s work was all that great to begin with, but copying good art and making it crappy is just sad.

  • Well it sounds like everyone is agreement here:

    Sam Flores is the worst and most talentless artist of all time.

    Get out here.

    Everyone posting in here is probably a mediocre artist/designer at best.

    It’s real easy to hold people to the letter of the law when you’re behind a computer screen.

    Sam got caught copying something in a very lazy manner. He apologized. Apparently not well enough.

    Let me pose this question to everyone:

    If Sam had changed some of the elements so that no one caught that he referenced this drawing would that be okay?

    Because I honestly feel most major artists do that all the time.

    Was he wrong to bite the drawing? Sure. But don’t try and say that he is some talentless hack when he probably has a much larger and more original body of work than anyone commenting on this post.

    Just to be clear. I’m not even a fan of Sam’s work so I have no bias on this matter.

  • Christine Griffin

    “Just the composition”, Nate? Huh. I think I can safely say you’re not an artist yourself.

    As artists, we have only our own personal visual vocabulary to market and sell…all of which is filtered through our own observations and admirations. So as such, nothing is truly unique. It’s observed and translated, and hopefully made somehow distinctive enough to earn us a living.

    To take entire portions of someone’s work and plop it onto your own, to the point it’s recognized as copied? That’s something else entirely. Unless you’re overt about your ‘homage’, such as what Andy Warhol did (and it still gave him legal issues), then it’s plagiarizing. It is, in fact, almost the very definition of plagiary. What Sam did was not transformative enough to evade copyright issues, I’m afraid. Good for him…to have come forward and apologize. Not so good…that now all his work will be suspect.

  • I really appreciate Flores coming here and clearing things up. That is to be respected, but at the same time I tend to agree with this poster:

    “I don’t understand how Sam thinks copying Arthur Rackham’s work would have been any better. A rip is a rip. Even if it was supposed to be homage to Arthur Rackham he never mentioned it until now. And its a straight up tracing”

    I agree that it was basically traced. It was much more than an “homage”… When the lines line up perfectly it is a “trace”

    But hey, the guy is lightyears ahead of me, and as I stated earlier he was man enough to come here and explain himself. I can assure you it is a lesson learned.

    But all this drama is why I keep coming to this site!

  • Let’s take it down a notch, folks. They are both beautiful paintings and Flores has apologized and is attempting to make ethical and financial amends with Foster, it really is between the two of them. The fact of the matter is that we are all influenced by those who inspire us whether it be the use of a composition, rendering technique, color palette, etc. Flores clearly lifted far too much from this great painting and is now paying for it but I am troubled by the hostility in the language of these attacks.

    We all get the moral of this story, but those of you who seemed to take such joy from throwing stones should just get back to producing great work of your own and keep your energy a bit more positive.

  • Dana:
    Amen, sister!

  • I think that Jon Foster owes Sam Flores a big apology and should offer all compensation made off of new fans received via this “controversy” to Mr. Flores directly and immediately.

    Does that sound funny?

    That’s how most of you guys sound.

  • Just goes to show, no matter how good everyone thinks you are or how great you may be in your own right when you screw up it WILL be found. Sure, I take perverse pleasure in taking Flores down a notch (as I do with anyone I perceive to be better than me in anything) but I like to harp on this a lot more because it shows up and comers that this sort of activity isn’t welcome. It may be common place but it shouldn’t be. By that logic I should be a meth head too. Why not, everyone in my town does it! When it’s excused with a sigh and called a “learning experience” it becomes more tolerable. I can’t stand by without raising a shit fit about that. I am not a huge fan of Flores’ work, more in the same way I’m not a huge fan of jazz, but I could appreciate why others liked him. Not so much now.

    I find his apology hollow but he has balls enough to show his face and say something. That’s more than most do.

    Defending his skill while saying this is common place is bull. If he has skill he wouldn’t need to copy something as simple as flippin’ leaves on a tree. Ok, maybe the guy has a hard time with perspective and copied the tree but right down to the leaves? Come on. Truly good artists don’t do that. They don’t need to. Maybe that’s something that Flores and all other artists who feel the need to lift from others should think about. It’s not just reputation but personal integrity and belief in one’s own skill.

    In the end all I know is I’d look a hell of a lot harder before shelling out cash for a print of his. I’m not going to pay him for someone else’s sweat and blood. I don’t think that’s expecting too much.

  • idiocy aboundeth

    “I’m just baffled that someone who’s already ‘made it’ as an insanely good illustrator, would trace an existing image without trying to alter it more.

    So am I…but by his own admission, Sam was trolling the net for images to use and have his characters “visit”. This tells me that Sam is a completely different sort of “artist” than Jon Foster. Jon did it the way I am familiar with: either be commissioned to draw or conceived himself the idea of a boy in a tree with a dragon, in extreme downshot, either hunting or hiding from other dragons far below him–and then draw that composition as best he could. He likely freehanded the tree downshot using that old standby of the trained artist, PERSPECTIVE. Works every time, but even so, this kind of angle for both background and figure isn’t an easy one. But it can be done with a firm command of the rules of perspective. He may have used photo reference, I don’t know, but he obviously has manipulated the tree and the branches to his own ends. That part, along with the color, is from his design skills. He also draws the figure well. He may have used a model for this. He may not; I can freehand that pose from experience but to get it really accurate and as it’s a very realistically proportioned figure working from a live model in a downshot is helpful. or he might have photographed a model. In any case he’s definitely tweaked the boy, like the tree, to get the exact effect he wanted.

    Sam Flores is not adept at drawing the figure, to put it mildly. He is a weak draftsman and his figures float on his backgrounds. In any case it’s obvious that he didn’t have an idea of his girl in a tree with a dragon. He in point of fact lacked an idea for a composition, so he trolled the internet till he found a cool illustration, then he traced it wholesale and laid his girl figure on top of it, dropping out the BG elements.

    By anyone’s reckoning there’s a HUGE difference between the original artist and his work and they guy who just appropriates what he finds, who didn’t have the foggiest idea before he saw Jon’s work. Does anyone really believe he specifically went looking for “a downshot in a tree/forced perspective”? No-because by his own telling he thought he was stealing from-sorry, using–an Arthur Rackham illustration page, and found a Rackham image to “visit” with his character.

    So: NO original concept(unless someone can find an exact duplicate of this background setting that precedes Foster’s). That might be dandy assuming he did as some graffiti artists do and just slap a sticker of theirs on a well-known painting. I knew an artist here in Los Angeles who would take either well-known prints or just flea market kitsch and paint in his own character, a red squid thing. He was an art-school grad and did very amusing, witty pieces–and he made it very clear what was “his”, which was the whole point.
    But this guy we’re talking about here? Is a FRAUD.

    If he didn’t start out that way then he’s become inexcusably lazy in order to feed the bea$t.. Was he on a terrible deadline doing poorly paid work-for-hire, as the swiping artists of some of the comics of years past were? No. He didn’t have that excuse. And to top it off he apparently has a rep as some sort of Juxtapoz darling. Jesus…

    Maybe he’s a swell guy. But on another board someone posted his girlfriend’s text conversation with Flores asking him about this whole situation This was a day or so before his weak mea culpa.
    His attitude was “So what? Big deal. Everyone does it”. That was before the shit really hit the fan across the professional boards with this guy-48 hours later he pops up here with a frankly ridiculous excuse, covered in a lot of Uriah Heep nonsensical cringing, claiming falsely to have offered Jon Foster money(Jon says he didn’t).

    I call shenanigans, and I smell asshole fraud and arrogance.

    You guys who are defending him are being played. And for any of you to call out people posting here who are clearly real, professional artists upset by this and call into question their talents and abilities like 7th graders: sit down and shut up. You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.
    MY art is my job. It’s my career. It took me years to pay off my student loans to art school. I was able to pay them off because I’ve been fortunate to be employed at my art for 20 years. I make in the low 6 figures now. I’ve been unemployed as well. It’s a tough business. I’m sure you adolescent fanboys won’t believe a word of what I’m writing, but I’m not writing it for you–I’m writing it to express the judgement of one of the professional artist community publicly here.

    ” Sam had changed some of the elements so that no one caught that he referenced this drawing would that be okay? Because I honestly feel most major artists do that all the time.

    NO, it wouldn’t be okay. Of course it’s moot because he didn’t do that–he traced virtually everything. He stole. He CHEATED. And NO–MOST MAJOR ARTISTS DO NOT DO THAT ALL THE TIME”. That’s got to be the most asinine assertion I’ve read in ages.

    And as far as taking it down a notch”? My friend, you cannot be an artist yourself to not understand why we who are are furious at thieves who pretend that no one ever has original ideas or compositions or execution. That demeans all of us to say that. it shows you have no understanding of what true skill and imagination is. Maybe this guy Flores has some–or had some–but he knows what he did and didn’t do, and while he’s fooling some of you(and hopes he does for financial reasons) he can’t do it forever. I assure you he’s scared to death because my guess is he just doesn’t have the chops to do truly original work.

    It’s called hoisting yourself by your own petard. Flores is toast with real artists, and he did it all to himself, all by himself. He deserves every brickbat.

  • Easy to pick the Sam Flores fans here…

  • diocy aboundeth: THANKS. Very well put!

  • idiocy aboundeth, it was a long read but worth it, bravo!

    @Dana Lamb I think that the people here who are upset about this, are not just ‘throwing stones’; This also touches the core of any artist who works hard to make original work. It’s hard to swallow that an artist who just easily copies someone else’s work, is this successful.

  • “Robbery, officer? Certainly not! My hand was merely visiting this gentleman’s wallet in order to pay homage to him!”

  • I's Wide Shut

    Man, this Sam Flores guy is a big phony. It’s pretty depressing.

    Check these comparisons out (thanks to the omgposters board):

    Flores:
    http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/9356/picture1yai.png
    Original:
    http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/wow/0aitokjakuc.jpg

    and

    Flores:
    http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/2766/picture2jye.png
    Original:
    http://ursispaltenstein.ch/blog/images/uploads_img/hokusai.jpg

    More “homages” I guess.

  • I will stomp on your throat

    ugggh. these are both terrible works of art. It blows my mind that anybody likes or respects the original painting, and to think that someone would actually trace it makes my fucking head want to explode. uggh again.

    This thread just makes me appreciate artists who actually come up with new ideas. nice work ytwwn.

  • Mr. Flores appears to be just a tracer. Except this time he got caught tracing a work by a contemporary (and very famous) artist.

  • Reference isn’t tracing, i lol’d at the moron that thinks he’s got any edge over more talented artists that actually reference before barfing out some mediocre attempt.

    When you reference you don’t copy the picture like above, you get the little details down and go your own way with it entirely. This is a traced swipe and anybody thinking that’s the same as referencing needs to pull their head out of their ass and look at how awful their drawings really are.

  • The Card Puller

    And before I trash Sam, let me explain that I have over 10 years experience working as an illustrator, and I am not some “mediocre artist/designer at best” like someone was saying above.

    Reference is when you look at anatomy books and science books to learn the form of the object you are drawing. Reference is learning from the work of master painters and sculptors, doing research into the history of the genre you are attempting to work in. Reference is digging up old dusty books of lettering, finding old photographs, dated periodicals, rare album art.

    This is a Rip Off, a Trace, a Copy, a Swipe, a Booger, a worthless piece of garbage not fit for the magazine pages and gallery walls that Sam Flores finds himself on so often.

    Sam, YOU ARE COLD BUSTED, and then “I’s Wide Shut” busted you twice more in the comment above.

    Sam, fuck you, go get a job telemarketing. Get out of the way and let some original artists shine.

  • idiocy aboundeth has WAY too much time on his/her hands.

    Way to go on fitting in ALL of your S.A.T words.

    What does “asshole fraud” smell like exactly?

  • why this got to happen to all of the legion of Flores fans notice hes lack of creativity? obviously hes a talented man with great hands… but a big lack of real talent and self creativity… period.. no surprise here… and to be clear thats a full copy, not a reinterpretation.. put one above other he just take the pic and pu a PSD filter on it… the worst is that he try to charge money for this as a special edition print… maybe if he said from the beggining ” THIS JOB IS MY REINTERPREATIONOF THE WORK OF JON FOSTER… or so)

    sad but a lot of people like this everywhere… and the worst.. the are famous and well pay.

  • Ever seen a pencil with an eraser on it before? Mistakes get made. Flores apologised; Foster responds. Everyone else’s opinion from that point on is worthless, petty and utterly not worth the time of day, including mine. Trash talking is not an art. Get over it.

  • I CANT BELIEVE SAM FLORES TRACES LEAVES.

  • i think this has gotten outta hand. all artists have done a copy or a tribute to someone who has done greatness. even in high school your teacher would say “pick out a picture of an artist you like (or in this case want to pay a tribute to)to paint or dram.” Sam Flores apologized and Jon Foster accepted…. OVER

  • MELHEART
    i think this has gotten outta hand. all artists have done a copy or a tribute to someone who has done greatness. even in high school your teacher would say “pick out a picture of an artist you like (or in this case want to pay a tribute to)to paint or dram.” Sam Flores apologized and Jon Foster accepted…. OVER

    Think youre right.. the point is that he never say that before, but till he gets caught

  • Are you fucking serious? You’re defending this? You’re gonna sit there with a straight face and tell me MY opinion doesn’t matter? Bull fucking shit it doesn’t. Flores makes money off of his shit, a pretty penny too. I’d be fucking pissed if I dropped a buck fifty on a print only to find out it’s a fucking rip. What could I do? I couldn’t display it “Hey man, I can’t believe you’d support art theft like that.”

    He sells a product and his product is garbage. Don’t tell me you’d be defending ShamWow on the internet because, well, the company apologized for misleading us. Fuck Flores and his defective art.

  • internet should be free of haters… looks like it is only used to spread HATE around… Flores did wrong… heroes fall… and you hate yourself for making him a hero in the first place.

  • 1981 = Sam?

  • Really, I dont get it… I thought this crap had become the norm…

    Whats the difference if Shepard Fairey traces an Obama picture or if KAWS were to stick spongebob on that tree branch?

    Why all the sudden are you guys dropping on Sam?

  • The Card Puller

    “Whats the difference if Shepard Fairey traces an Obama picture or if KAWS were to stick spongebob on that tree branch?”

    OH SNAP! thats right, you just named some more Juxtapoz magazine hacks who steal art for their own huge profits. whaddyaknow

    Look people the excuse of “well Andy Warhol did it and so can I” is pathetic.

  • Don Bishop
    1981 = Sam?

    LOL…i always assumed that when some hack is caught on this site and the trashing begins, the douche bag artist would come to this site and “defend the picked on guy” under a different name. Its seems pretty obvious on the surface who is either a family member/friend, or the thief himself, posting in a thread like this. And on the plus site, its a fun read!

  • Disgusting. Granted Sam is talented…but I’d like to see what other “big” illustrators surface with copyright issues. Should be pretty interesting since most of the big illustrators these days are of a graffiti origin which is a pretty copyright feisty medium to begin with…

  • It takes balls to steal like he did, Ill give him that.

  • for the user who is Anonymous. it is easy to just spew crap all over the internet when you are “Anonymous” at least Samwith all his errors in ways has a name we can attach to a comment. you on the other hand are just as bad, roasting someone under the cloak of deception. for the record, i do not own any of sam’s images nor do i want to. But to talk shit while being Anonymous is bogus too.

  • Sam Flores is the shit. Sam has a much bigger fan following then Foster. So many people that never even heard of Foster will now know of him through Sam and this controversy. He should be flattered. And i agree with poster Kylan Larson: “I think that Jon Foster owes Sam Flores a big apology and should offer all compensation made off of new fans received via this “controversy” to Mr. Flores directly and immediately.”

    Sam Flores is an amazing artist, and this whole ordeal doesn’t take away from the fact that he has produced many amazing pieces in the past years and continues to do so today.

    Shit, most art is a copy of a copy of a copy of an idea.

  • this is disheartening to say the least.

  • so to everyone saying sams work(including sam himself) is an homage. it isn’t. if he would have drawn the entire painting based off the original with his charcter in it then he could say that but ass it stands he strait up traced the orginal. If he would have done the whole thing by freehand I would totally be on sams side but not by what actually happened

  • I's Wide Shut

    It really is insane that people can still defend Flores after three (3) pieces have already been outed as thievery. And of course, that’s just the stuff we know about since this controversy blew up.

    It doesn’t matter if Flores is “the shit” or has a much bigger fan following. If you found out your favorite rapper/band’s entire catalog was just covers from other unknown (to you) rappers/bands, would you just say “Oh, well they’re more popular. So, who cares?”

    I sure wouldn’t. You shouldn’t either.

  • To everyone defending Sam: So you wouldn’t be upset if some big-name artist ripped off your original art by tracing over it, and is making big money off of it? While not giving you credit?

    It’s like stealing someone’s Myspace photo, photoshopping in a different eye color, and then posting it onto your own profile. You can have all the e-friends you want, Sam, but okay this analogy isn’t going anywhere

    point is: Flores is making money off of another contemporary artist’s work. The fact that he’s an amazing artist in his own right doesn’t mean he’s allowed to fuck Jon Foster over.

  • this should come as no surprise from an artist who who took the offer to sell their soul for…. shower curtains… http://www.notcot.org/post/2997/

  • i hope his career ends.

  • Are we really supposed to believe that half assed back tracking story Sam?

    You were paying homage to Rackham, I’m guessing because you’re such a fan of his, and not only did he not receive credit, but you didn’t even know it was his!

    So are you characters also visiting paintings by other, lesser known artists?

    You are a polished turd in the art world, you should be seriously ashamed and embarassed of yourself.

  • Oh fuck off and learn to draw feet Leifeld.

  • I guess this is why you shouldn’t thrust every street/outsider artist (known for repetitive use of imagery/poses/themes) into the spotlight as soon as they splash on the scene. Eventually your streak runs out and your card gets pulled. I never understood how one trick ponies make a career out of selling the same gimmick over and over in slightly different ways, themes or colorways.

    I can understand how Sam’s work may have cred on the street and lowbrow pubs, but the more I see his over-saturated and over-hyped work, the more bland it becomes. If you’ve seen one or two pieces, you’ve seen them all. Don’t get me wrong, like most everyone here agrees, the technique is there, but the originality is (apparently) lacking.

    This whole thing doesn’t surprise me.

  • Jason, I DO have a name. It’s anonymous. Like Jason is anymore descript. Having a “name” doesn’t attach anymore validity to what I am saying. Do you want my real name? My social? a picture of my face? How about my first born’s birth certificate? Would that satisfy you?

  • Just dropping a quote to add my 2 cents……

    Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.
    Pablo Picasso

  • whatever that means in this case

  • Well, good artists should be capable of creating their own work, not stealing other peoples work. Bad artists making money on other peoples work is also stealing.

  • homages? No way. Look, sam uses their original works then he makes more monies for many years already. YES, ALREADY MANY YEARS, eh obviously…. why didn’t he apologize before? But how about their own monies? Anyway, it’s TOO late, tsk tsk.

  • SAM FLORES YOU FUCKIN SUCK! YOU AND YOUR BANANA FINGERED HANDS AND FUCKED UP ALIEN DISTORTED HEADS, FUCKEN HACK!! FUCKEN PLAGIARIST, HAVE SHAME!

  • Good artists learn to get away with lifting ideas by not simply tracing them. It’s called referencing. What Sam Flores did was disgraceful, and behavior like that is damaging to the entire art and design community.

    I’d also like to point out how you’d have to be be a complete idiot to not recognize that Jon’s painting is fairly recent. It doesn’t even look like an Arthur Rackham piece. Sam’s cover story is obviously bullshit.

  • Most of you talk about this as if this sort of thing is something new. Every artist has done (or will) do this in their lifetime. That is just a fact. Either while researching composition, exploring ideas or trying to meet a redic. job deadline. Look at comic books, they do it quite blatantly all the time. And if you illustrate and say you never did this, you are a liar. Let me see a portfolio of your work, I am pretty sure I can find your Sam Flores.

  • Artists do this ALL THE TIME. who gives a shit, who gives a fuck, find something more important to worry yourselves with.

  • @derekscottART – then why are you on a site called youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com

    @Jon Foster – way to handle it.

  • Pingback: “D” is for Daniel | peabe ::: blog

  • when i see the other two samples of “inspiration” something cross to my mind… check more paints by flores and try to find something similar by myself on goggle… guess what?

    This is just sad… check what i found

    SAM FLORES new works

    http://www.formatmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/samflores_img2.jpg

    i think.. this one could be a esay one to try to find something… so i goggle: horses, wave… appear zillions of images and i go page by page till i saw something…

    “Neptuno”
    by: Gail Guirreri-Maslyk
    this girl is very famous in the world of horses and races, this paint is from 2007

    http://horses-n-art.com/MainImages/Large/Neptune.jpg

    NOW SAM, YOU FORGOT TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK AGAIN ? CONTACT GAIL? IT AN HOMAGE TO?

    It not the same with Warhol works that was obviously a campbells can, he did not try to said the coca cola was his idea, that was called art pop..
    the same with Kaws… we all know he use famous characters we all know who is theoriginal artist.. he did not try to hide that… those fans bought his art knowing this…. FLORES just kept the mouth shout taking the whole credit til he get cought… big difference

  • “Rob Leifeld
    It takes balls to steal like he did, Ill give him that.”

    “sam flores
    Oh fuck off and learn to draw feet Leifeld.”

    haha i gues you got the wrong Rob… this one is LEIFELD the one you offended and sedn to fuck off and probably did not care about you is Rob LIEFELD… wich is a huge icon on the comic world… and he draw feets better than you

  • A FRAGMENT OF AN INTERVIEW WITH FLORES:

    Format: You did some amazing work for the Hope Gallery at this year’s Democratic National Convention. The energy in that place was insane. What was it like to be on the creative end of it?
    Sam Flores: It was very fun; a lot of the artists I was meeting for the first time. I’ve met the Heavyweights before, and I’m old friends with Dave Choe, but everything else was new. It was pretty cool living in a house with them for five days. It was like the real world house for artists.
    Format: A lot of artists are primarily inspired by the things around them. Some are primarily inspired by what’s going on in their head, and some would say they’re motivated by a mix of both. Where do you fit in that spectrum?
    Sam Flores: It’s everything for me. I know that’s very broad, but everything in my everyday routine – music, walking to the store – I take things in and soak up inspiration. Traveling is a huge inspiration; I love traveling to new places and seeing their architecture, colors, smells, sounds.
    I grew up pretty poor, so I didn’t have toys. I was forced to develop my imagination young, which I’m very grateful for. My neighbors were throwing out a huge refrigerator box one day, and I asked them if I could have it. I’ve never seen a box that big, so each day it was something new to me. It was a spaceship, a castle, an army fort, a time machine.
    My imagination is pretty bugged out, so I love going inside it and seeing what it can create that day. The best way to do it is just trust in your imagination and not force it;
    “the best ideas come out when you’re not trying to think about them.”

    SAD… i guesS wHAT Flores meant to say was:
    THE BEST IDEAS COME OUT WHEN YOU STEAL’EM

  • Isn’t it odd how unknown artists are so jealous of someone with a ‘name’ and stand ready to pull the pedestal out from under them as though it somehow validates their own talent and aspirations. How can such a sour, foul mind create anything beautiful? You who rejoice in Sam’s mistake cannot claim to be true artists yourselves.

  • Mistake? Get real.

    Is it jealousy or is it outrage that while real artists are busting ass and creating on their own, others are plagiarizing and profiting?

    I’m guessing it’s the latter. And I’m also guessing that “true artists” are the ones upset by this.

  • Sam’s plagiarizing and you busting your ass without receiving appreciation are completely unrelated events. They do not correspond to each other.

    I for one feel sad for him – who is to know the circumstances he was working under? Pressure from deadlines/contracts – who knows? Now it will spoil his body of work to a degree – the man is certainly an artist – but made some mistakes, gets caught, and now all of his work will be called into question.

    My point is that those of you who rejoice in this fact as if it is some vindication on your own part, are just petty.

  • @nate,
    you act like this was a one time thing, that it was a minor, accidental slip up in an illustrious career. Unfortunately, as we dig deeper, we see a pattern of stealing other’s art and signing his name to it then selling it to the masses for large amounts of money. We then see him in countless interviews praising himself and his ability to come up with great ideas with little effort. We dont rejoice in his mistakes, we become angry that he has made money hand over fist copying true artists, who struggle and toil to create great works of art. its very apparent that you are not an artist because if you were, you would have a bit of outrage and disgust.

    I dont wish harm upon Sam, i dont know him personally nor do i think he is a vile individual. i just wish he would stop stealing others hard earned work and then brag about how great he is. I hope the art community sees him for what he really is and stops rewarding artists for thievery.

    As we have seen, this isnt the first time Sam has stolen (traced) other artist’s work, and im guessing it wont be the last. The sheep buy his work and dont ask questions…which Sam already understands and knows that it’s a profitable problem to have. Credibility/Artistic integrity or Money….i think we all know which one Sam has chosen.

  • First of all, I’d like to say that I am ikn no way jealous of Sam Flores. He’s made a name for himself, good for him. My criticism of plagiarism has nothing to do with jealousy, or how famous or not Sam Flores is. I would feel the same if he was an amateur artist, passing plagiarized art off as his own.

    And for those of you saying “all professional artists do it”, well, no they don’t. They all take ideas, but directly tracing an entire scene, as in this case, is not something that everybody does. This is stealing, and lying. I’m not saying his entire life and career should be ruined for it or anything, but his credibility should be questioned over it.

  • I think sam did 20 homages and counting! Really how many homages do you need!
    Sam is a douche of epic proportion!!!!!!!!

  • Disappointed fan

    Wow, What a disappointment. Alot of people are posting up all kinds of artworks Sam has ripped off. sucks to be him right now.

  • Do people not realize that no art (movies, music, illustrations,) is original. Everything is a version of the original. Fuck Jesus isn’t even original. Do you know how many stories there were before Jesus of a profit who is a carpenter, who walked on water, etc, etc. If Sam is making shit work for him and getting to do the things he loves instead of working a dead end desk job more power to him. Sounds to me like everyone here is jealous cuz they can’t do the same. Get over it, chase your dream, and stop trying to crush everyone elses. Sam, keep doing your thing.

  • Stealing tree leaves

    Stealing japanese roosters

    Stealing dragon heads

    Stealing horse waves

    Stealing again and again and again

    this muthafucka is nothing but a tracer… goddamn!

    Im so glad I never supported Sam or Upper Playgournd with $1 of my money… hahah!!!!

    REAL RECOGNIZE REAL!

  • Re:Horse Waves

    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a266/Raptress17/Movie%20Pictures/The%20Last%20Unicorn/unicornwave.gif

    Who ripped off whom? Your girl painted in in 07 The Last Unicorn came out 82. You could do that shit with anything! Move on!

  • thoughtprovoker

    …it’ll be interesting to see what Mr. Flores has coming out next.

  • I don’t like his new work that much anyways. I preferred when he kept it simple and more gritty(plus he has an original voice with that work). Hopefully he goes back to more of a graffiti look.

    I think this is a big case of the difference between street art and gallery work. Street artists spend so long locking down a look that they can repeat fast and once they make it to the gallery world it can be hard to evolve.

    I agree with thoughtporvoker…. it’s going to be interesting to see where he takes this. Hopefully he can overcome it. You should see the hate over here – http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=164395

  • Still hashing this loser out?

    “If Sam is making shit work for him and getting to do the things he loves instead of working a dead end desk job more power to him. Sounds to me like everyone here is jealous cuz they can’t do the same.

    Oh, I can do the same, dude. I have PS and Illustrator. Clickety-click. Tracey-trace. No problem!

    It’s useless trying to explain the basic issues to someone with your level of-what is it? Denial, or just ignorance?–why this is wrong and what he did wrong, it’s been done already and FFS, that’s why it’s on THIS site in the first place.

    But make no mistake: anyone with no level of any kind of skill can do what Sam does now, here, with this stolen print. And he will probably continue to do it–but he’ll make bloody sure he uses only real, bona fide public domain art like the Hokusai from here on in. It may be a grey area ethically and artistically, but at least he can’t be sued for it which I assure is all he gives two shits about–the MOOLAH.

    Whatever. The damage has been done-to himself. And I would bet the equivalent of 50 ripoff Flores posters that his gallery rep and bookings are going to be fucked up for some time. NO gallery wants to be caught up in messes like this-they lose money and become avoided like the black plague. And unlike the cultish fanboyz they know fraudulent shit when they see it. It makes them mad, and rightfully so.

  • “And unlike cultish fanboyz they know fraudulent shit when they see it”

    Are you kidding? Like galleries are all about bleeding artists??? They feed the machine. they announce the next thing and up the price for their own profits. They didn’t seem to do any research with him? They decided that he was popular and he would sell and so he did. You clearly didn’t read the rest of the post. What I was trying to say was, nothing is original, including any of the shit you’ve ever done. It’s all “borrowed” or “inspired.” Get off your fucking high horse. I was merely trying to make a point.

  • Sam must be under a lot of pressure to get this lazy. There’s really no excuse.

    Let me guess, the next place we will see Sam’s work is on Target or Wal-mart clothing, go get that dollar, Sam, before it’s to late!!!

  • @Matt
    totally dig your work. just checked out your blog. thought i would give props.

  • @ r. goodwin – haha, thanks for checking it out. Wish it wasn’t because of this mess! Trying to keep it updated once a week.

  • People reference stuff all the time, they take old ideas and rehash them in their own way. But this isn’t referencing at all… It’s complete forgery he took all the original line work and just copied it over.

    So for everyone trying to defend this as if it’s normal, it isn’t. This is bad for art and even though Sam might be your relative or a friend he did a dumbass move.

    It’s already been proven he did this multiple times, just complete copy and paste of another contemporary work and just plopped his character right in there.

    He definitely should not be getting paid for this crap.

  • Jon Foster is dope.

    Sam’s “alright”, but he’s no John Foster, different league, i’m sure Sam would be the first to admit it.

    Makes you think about how easy it is for an artist to gain notoriety when he dedicates most of his time to self promotions, while another artist who dedicates the same amount of time into refining his talent can go unnoticed by most people, regardless of how incredible his work is.

    Magazines and sites should be more open minded and willing to look beyond the circle jerk and readers need to be less passive in their tastes. More beat downs on this kind of behavior wouldn’t go astray either.

  • Well put Koan.

  • @ Koan, well put but it all depends on what your tastes are. I recognize Foster’s work as being crazy good but it’s just not my thing. Something like Sam’s work(not new but older style) appeals to me way more. And from what I’ve seen it speaks to people who aren’t artists way faster than the kind of art Jon Foster does(is that good or bad?).

  • How can you respect someone who uses auto-trace in photo-shop on his other fellow artists work, over and over again to profit on, even look at the hands, he totally ripped the positions.

  • Sam Flores, you’re a thief and a liar.

    “I was looking online awhile ago searching for old illustrations from the 1900s and came across a small image of a tree painting that I dragged to my desktop. It was on the same page as Arthur Rackham’s paintings, and my mistake was assuming it also belonged to Rackham, and revisiting the image without thorough research, i wanted to have one of my characters visiting his painting as sort of a homage.”

    * Looking through illustrations from the 1900s because you were hoping no one would recognize the stuff you were going to steal? A few years ago, you could easily get away with this forgery, but the Internet caught you red-handed!
    * Why would it be ok to steal from Rackhman? Because he’s dead–that makes it an homage? Then name the piece with reference to the artist or art that inspired you–that’s paying homage.
    * Revisiting? You were not revisiting anything–you traced someone else’s work.
    * Also, if you wanted to pay homage to this artist, why didn’t you know this artist’s work better? Yu couldn’t tell the difference between his and someone else’s work. You saw a piece to steal and you stole it and only apologized when you got caught.
    * You don’t need to “research” like that to paint a person in a tree…go to a park and look at a tree, or better yet, wait for a child to climb a tree or ask a relative to pose for you. Look at the world around you and interpret it–BE AN ARTIST!

    I am so offended that you would try to make people believe this was unintentional. A lot of people don’t know how hard it is to make it as an artist, to make any money at it at all. You and Shepperd Fairey are hacks and I’m glad you’ve been exposed for the talentless copy machines you really are. I hope you liars haven’t set the contemporary art world back too much…I feel like you’ve made a mockery out of modern art and given the hi-brow snobs something to laugh about.

    Also, I hope Juxtapoz and other magazines and galleries that have been snowed and carried your “work” cover this story…all of your homage “works” need to be uncovered so the people that have spent their hard-earned money to collect them know how little value they now hold.

  • Flores licks taint.

    From Sam Flores’ bio on his website-

    “Sam Flores… has established his place in the modern art movement as a master of fine art and product design.”

    What a tool, and how pretentious and self fulfilling. He’s no better than that shiite band Brokencyde.

  • Flores:
    https://www.upperplaygroundstore.com/image/large/5858.jpg

    Ciruelo:
    http://www.dac-editions.com/dragons.htm

    “For sure some of these images painted by Ciruelo are familiar to you.
    They have been reproduced dozens of times on the internet,
    sometimes without the proper copyrights.” LOL

  • Randy Neil Stratton

    “Also, I hope Juxtapoz and other magazines and galleries that have been snowed and carried your “work” cover this story…”

    Not likely. Sam Flores is in tight with Upper Playground/5024 Gallery. Upper Playground is run by Matt Revelli, and Matt Revelli is the Editor of Juxtapoz Magazine. Why would Matt Revelli use the magazine that he helms to expose an artist he makes money off of in both his stores and galleries? He wouldn’t. But, here’s the kicker. My kicker anyway.

    The only reason I found out about this website is because I discovered my own work had been ripped of by Upper Playground. The posting I wrote about it is still pending as of this moment. Basically, I wrote and illustrated a book, and they took a bunch of the illustrations from the book and made a t-shirt out of it. They never asked permission from me or the book’s publisher.

    Would Juxtapoz Magazine do a story on Sam Flores stealing someone else’s art? Not so long as they have someone who is doing the same thing as their editor!

  • sam is lying. How can he think something that has a full body tattoo be author reckham. What a fn douche. My 6 year old daughter would be able to tell the two era apart.
    matty wta- really, you prefer sam over jon???????? wow, your credibility has been shot.

  • @Randy Neil Stratton

    Hmmm…. The plot thickens…..
    It is unfortunate that most of this movement will be looked back on as crap. A few of the true talents will always hold their ground and rightfully so… but a few bad seeds will spoil it for everyone. The more i think about this the more pissed i get.

  • steven – thanks man that’s nice of you. Just because I prefer a more graphic/line-based look my credibility is shot? I never said that Sam was more talented than Jon or that Jon’s work is crap… he’s super talented…. just doesn’t do much for me.

    Hmmmm, yep I just ruined my street cred :O

  • anybody seen this story anywhere else? based on Randy’s post it certainly won’t be in juxtapoz. i would hate to see the mainstream art press destroy all of the work that has been done to get underground/graff/lowbrow accepted as legitimate art [which it obviously is] in the past few years. i know that many of hi-brow bourgeois fucks that run the ‘fine art’ world have been itching to take the kids out ever since they forced their way through the gates. it would be really sad that people like Matt Revelli could be hurting the real artists on the upper playground roster and get them black listed along with sam flores. that is, of course, if the underground press has the balls to take on jux & upper playground… guess we’ll see.

    p.s. i’m really wondering at this point if sam decides to take himself back to the street, will he get a proper beatdown??

  • Sam never has done any real street shit. Only thing on the street ive seen from him is legal shit. That ain’t Graff!

  • thoughtprovoker

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Sam Flores knew what he was doing was wrong. And I bet he knew that sometime, somewhere he’d get called out on it.

    You can’t ‘borrow’ that much from original pieces, and think what you’re doing is right, without knowing inside, that someday you have that (underestimated) ‘slim-chance’ of being called out for it.

  • How many of the above who have written “Sam Flores sucks/Sam Flores can lose his career/f*** you Sam Flores/thief/cheater” etc actually have the ability to hold a pencil properly, let alone comment on how someone else uses one. If anyone wants to come back and say “I’m a better artist than Sam Flores”, my reply to you ahead of time would be “get offline and get drawing then, stop wasting your time here and do something tactile, beautiful and constructive to the medium, rather than try and spout off about how it’s being let down by Sam Flores.” Get. The. Hell. OVER. IT.

  • Just like Simon Pithie…says sorry and then copies again!

  • I gotta be honest and say I love that this happened to Sam Flores, What he did was fucking unforgivable.

  • WOW is all I can say. This guy is ruined.

  • @James – Of course people are doing that… or else they wouldn’t be so pissed about it. IMO, the majority of people in here that are insulting towards Sam (like me), do it because we are the honest kind of visual creators, at least that don’t plagiarize in any way at all. The rest of you who support him, simply don’t understand the TRUE effort involved in creating something, anything original, if it’s a photo, illustration, painting, song, etc. Once again Sam, you suck.
    @Trent – Yep.

  • No Studder Step

    Sam Flores said:

    “was looking online awhile ago searching for old illustrations from the 1900s and came across a small image of a tree painting that I dragged to my desktop. It was on the same page as Arthur Rackham’s paintings, and my mistake was assuming it also belonged to Rackham, and revisiting the image without thorough research, i wanted to have one of my characters visiting his painting as sort of a homage .”

    If that is the case, then why didnt he originally credit Arthur Rackam for the painting then? Seems to me that if he had made an homage to Arthur, then he would have cited his ‘inspiration’ somewhere. But to my knowledge, he never credited, cited, or mentioned Arthur, or John. It just doesnt make sense. With the economy a bit slow, and art sales a bit slow, this is the time that artists should be taking the time to refine what they do. not bang out another painting. it’s just disappointing

    @Erika – Juxtapoz will never carry this story because Matt Revelli is the editor of Juxtapoz. Matt Revelli is also the owner of Upper Playground – see a conflict of interest there? How the fuck can you properly cover a story when you know it will damage your bottom line for sales at Upper Playground. Sucks, but that is what this website is for.

  • I do that shit too….its called illustrator and photoshop…then put it wit my chicken scratch..I need that Gumby Gold…..
    its funny because I always liked Sam Flores’s backgrounds more then his characters…. his characters reminded me of the great Barry Mcgee/TWISTone..

  • Aside from the actual plagiarism which took part…does no one in this thread know who Arthur Rackham is???

    He worked in the early 1900′s. Most of his illustrations are by now IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN in the US. If Sam Flores genuinely thought that the image he was using was by Rackham, of course he believed he had every legal right to make such a heavily inspired homage. It’s unfortunate that he made a mistake but he has apologised.

    I can’t believe someone complained that ‘Rackham didn’t know his art was being used’. The man is dead!

  • bewildered, Rackham’s work being in the public domain has already been covered. Read before you write. Second, just because the man is dead and gone doesn’t mean he’s any less of a hack. A copy is a copy. “Heavily inspired homage”? Is that what we’re calling it today?

  • Sam Flores Sucks! Juxtapoz Sucks! Fecal Face Sucks! They all suck each others dicks because none of them have the balls to cover this story!

  • Weallhaveeyes

    All the money that Upper Playground has been paying him has gone to his head and made the novel thought a challenge he CAN’T rise to.

    Get a soul! Have some heart and don’t rape the images of other artists!

    Sam, spend more time truly creating your art and not Pimp marketing & stealing from others!

  • It was already said once in here, but this is no different than all the fucking shit that Shepard Fairy puts out. He STRAIGHT UP steals other people’s work and throws his logo on it. Not to mention he has his assistants create his stencils from which the prints/posters are made. I’ve had a problem with a lot of the juxtapoz art for a while now, but mainly because it all seemed so incestuous and unimaginative. I don’t know how many more cmyk geometric shapes and wolf heads I can handle. Is THAT ALL anyone around here has to offer? To me, that stuff is Illustration, which is certainly different than conceptual art (which is fine, but lets call a spade a spade).

    Okay, now that I’ve ranted, what Mr Flores did was a tracing. Plain and simple. An homage is the John Lennon ‘Imagine’ intro at the beginning of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger, because it’s obvious to EVERYONE. Stealing is what Vanilla Ice did with Under Pressure because he tried to change it just enough to pass it off as his own, not to mention the entire song is built around the stolen part, whereas the Lennon sample is simply a nod. Same thing here. The entire concept is stolen from the original, and the concept, as any good artist knows, is what really matters.

  • Someone called this guy a “Street artist” that was the best part of all this so far.

    LOL

  • I know it sucks what has happened here but whether or not this is a rip I think everybody should stop for a second and put yourself in his position – how the fuck would you feel reading such comments about yourself, so many of them completely unrelated and so many just random bullshit that you guys are vomiting all over this page. Honestly I think I’d want to curl up in a ball and die.

    Regardless of how much he has ‘stolen’ it is clear he has a lot of talent and skill, and this is the mother of all fuckups, but as you all are fully aware being readers of this site, these situations can get a lot worse, and the awesome work that he has produced should outweigh whatever shit he may have ripped. He’s apologised, what would you do?

  • By the way – I’m not trying to defend him, I’m just starting to get sick of reading such over the top, horrible things being said about people on this site.

  • can i get a refund for those shirts i bought what a lame people who ripoff desings like that are lame….people who eat basil are lame..

  • Anonymous, I did read, and found way too many posters who seemed to have no clue about Rackham. I just found that pretty hilarious.

    ““Heavily inspired homage”? Is that what we’re calling it today?”

    He said it was meant as a homage- putting his character into another artist’s painting. I don’t see a reason not to believe him, especially since the quality of his other work proves he doesn’t need to resort to tracing. Not a rip at all if that was the intention (well, it wouldn’t have been if he’d gotten the artist right). A homage has to bear enough resemblance to the original to be recogniseable, you know.

  • With some luck people will stop buying anything from Sam Flores in the future, for who knows what he will steal next. I’m easily selling my piece, but honestly I should just burn it.

    Also worst excuse ever, it was pure theft.

  • Lol at the people still buying that Rackham excuse.

  • Bewildered—a previous poster mentioned that Rackham’s stuff is not yet in public domain—see above—I think that is what one of the “Anon” folks meant— and another said that although Sam said he “offered” Foster money, Foster has said he never asked OR received any— I guess he would just like to keep ownership of his original ideas—imagine that.

    Does Sam have any further comment? I guess he would just like to see this go away, since all of the prints have been sold, even though the OMG site says “Not for Sale”…

  • these paintings look as similar as manet and picasso’s ‘luncheon on the grass’ .. the writer of this article needs to go back to school and take art history. the writer is a hack.. get a real job art critics.

  • major bummer…

    sam flores once commented a piece of mine on myspace.
    possibly the greatest moment of inspiration in my life.haha
    He’s one of the reasons i even persist on with painting..

    It comes as a shock to hear all of this over dramatic bantering..
    Im dissappointed in alot of ways about the situation.
    but the fact is, its done with. Maybe it was an ill attempt of an excuse..or maybe…just maybe….as stupid as it sounds he probably is being straight up, shit happens, simply dont support the guy if this is so concerning.

    I certainly dont want to make excuses for him, but seriously wtf else is there left for him to do. YA everybody, lets tell sam how angry we all really really are(pouted lips) and then tell him to stop doing what he’s doing, and eat shit on the streets. fact: hes not gonna do that, He has established his own success and if this destroys his career(which it wont)then everybody can sing Kumbaya and roast marshfreakinmellows. either way all the bantering and worlds tiniest violin wont make a difference. Im just as offended, Im just not gonna let it consume me. the man has done some great work regardless and marketed himself well…

    we could run our mouths off on our own beliefs. either way we are all guilty of something. and…these are opinions,who the fook cares anyways what eachother has to say. nobody likes to be wrong.

    i get it.
    some think his career is done.
    some think he can pull through this..
    how about all the determined and forthright people on here use that strong energy to persist on with their own talents and become as successful as this guy, and then you can say “i dont trace, Im a big kid now!”

    have a wonderful day everyone.
    (haha im gonna get hate mail for this, Ill grab the noose)

  • youre totally sleeping with sam.
    dummy.

  • LOL

  • Too much apologizing for Sam Flores not enough empathy for Jon Foster. Remember that guy? The victim? Some of you ass sucking, print collecting, hipster piss flaps seem to have forgotten Jon and now are only interested in your Juztapoz hero because “OMG THE INTERNET IS ANGRY!”. The guy is a thief, the painting was not delivered as a “homage” and Arthur Rackham never painted tattooed tshirt wearing kids.

  • The internet needs to flare up over this shit. If we don’t then the next asshat down the pipe will see the glossing over the previous hack got and think it’s ok. I’ll admit it, I liked Flores before and I still like his shit. I think he’s a fucking idiot now though. The whole homage excuse is just that. I think Flores was just acting like a complete douchebag with this and hoped he’d get away with it. He didn’t and was rightfully raked over the coals.

    Time to pull up his big boy pants and reclaim some dignity. Who knows? Maybe this will be a stumble on a the path to a great career? The only reason it’ll end now is if he lets it.

  • I agree,”anony-mi”–lol—again, and I do believe that Rackham’s stuff is NOT yet in the public domain. Everyone seems to think everything is okay now that Sam offered his apology—and not much else. I guess that is the last of it—his apology isn’t even on his own website, at least the last time I looked—and only in the comments section of OMG—needs to be more PRONOUNCED.

    Kind of a shame that Foster is such a nice—and talented—guy.

    Everyone will think that Sam actually did something to make restitution, when all he did was say “sorry”—

  • a shit head is a shithead.

  • This makes me so angry- what an utter wanker. I hope this erupts into a complete shit storm for him…

  • I like how Sam thinks that plagiarism/artistic theft somehow equates to “reinterpreting a Jon Foster image”. His grasp on reality must be rather tenuous.

  • The $tatus Faction

    If Sam was smart he NEVER would have left that comment on this site. HE shoulda said “fuck you I stole that shit- whattayagonnado?!?”

    Dude’s got WAY more damage control with that trite apology. He’d be better off ignoring this site, crawling in a hole and hiding out with Chris Brown for several years.

  • Total rip off.

  • I have no idea who either of these artists are, but after skimming the contents and comments, I can say, with the obvious date-to-date creation of the similar pictures, that I’m appalled that someone with as much talent as Sam would need to drop his art on top of someone else’s without consent.

  • It’s not his first bite. He’s bitten Seattle artist Iosafatu Sua also. Sua’s a little below Flores’ pay grade, too which makes it that much uglier of a poaching.

    I’ll go look for links and post since I’ve bothered to make the accusation.
    What a mark.

  • Wow.
    Well you’ve just lost another fan.
    (And while I can’t speak for my illustrator/designer friends, I’ll bet you’ll have a few less, and a few less after we discuss this ridiculousness at dinner tonight)
    And perhaps my friends will tell their friends, who will tell their friends… you know how things like this travel around, especially if it’s about someone even mildly famous.

    I used to dream of getting my art in Juxtapoz,
    now, looking at all the hacks they use to fill their pages with pretentious propaganda about how “cool” you guys are in the articles… I’d rather be an underground artist forever than be associated with such a shameful pack of art-lemmings.

    Terrible, and really disappointing.

    You were one of my BF’s favorites Sam… WERE.
    Get lost.

  • so how much does his work sell for.. ?

  • JAYBOOGIE_W$U

    Honestly, unless you’re an artist yourself, I don’t think your opinion means Shit. Sam flores already apologized & already made an agreement with Jon Foster publicly announced that basically it’s all good, just don’t produce any more of it. What more are you expecting? You can’t undo what’s already been done, and it aint affecting you personally unless you’re Sam Flores or Jon Foster.

    What’s this one mistake got on all of the other great work Sam’s produced? Are you gonna shut down an artist dream for the sake of your own selfish opinion & droppin’ your 2 cents because Sam reinterpreted another mans work? He admitted he should’ve done more homework on what he was doing, what’s not understandable about that? People make mistakes thats why pencils have erasers. All he gotta do is bounce back and show fuckers like All you switchin’ face all of a sudden because of a simple mistake.

    Think about it, if you don’t give a fuck about what i’m sayin right now & feel like i’m just makin excuses, Who the fuck will wanna listen to Your opinion?

    You’re all just fuel to the fire, you damn instigators. Let the 2 artist themselves handle it, which it seems like they did, and move on with your Own lives. Live & Let Live.

    Art will never die, so whatre you weenies trippin about??

    I’m pretty sure sam & jon will come up with some NEW fresh shit anyways and Forget SMALL BULLSHIT like this. We’re all mature right? So show that maturity & stop makin shit a big deal.

    To Sam Flores & Jon Foster:
    – i’m still a fan of both of your work. great shit. keep it goin.

    To all the haters:
    – Can they live?

    OVER & OUT.

  • JAYBOOGIE_W$U

    Oh yeah.. & what the fuck is truly new under the sun nowadays? Unless someone comes up with some shit that will straight BLOW my fuckin’ mind… then Welpp.

    In this day and age, Originality has lost its meaning.

  • Jayboogie—He did NOT make an agreement with Foster—his lame apology is all— where did you get that idea—Foster is just a good guy who does not want to make trouble for Flores— think Flores would do the same? Maybe for money…

  • Sam had a good run but it looks like the honeymoon’s over.

  • funny,,,
    I was looking for dragons. for reference material,,and a friend said to look up sam flores dragons,,
    and i found this page….
    someone was dissing him about shower curtains,,,
    I’d love to print up shower curtains,,,

    I’m taking a couple different dragons and turning them into one,,
    and using my own sky to fly in…from a foto

    by painting it..is this reference or plagiarism?

    it’s a commission piece,,and I hadn’t internalized it to worry about it being original,,,

    If i found an image that suited what I wanted for this project I’d prob copy it….by painting..not tracing….and i’d prob change something…

    but readin all this…makes me think I should have spent as much time drawing from my head as researching others illustrations,,,and I maybe would have benifited more,,,

    be nice every one.,and don’t make money off each others work…:)

  • To jsooner, you moron! If you place a transparency over that one branch it is line for line twig for twig leaf for leaf. You are a moron!

  • WOW.

    Sam Flores = hack job money slut.

    I’ve busted my ass throughout my life to develop my own illustrative style, This makes me wince

    Anyone saying that Flores should be let off the hook doesn’t know what they’re talking about, period.

    this is relative to someone taking the cover of an obscure copy of Spiderman and replacing said superhero with they’re own character/s and then making money off of the result…

    SHAME

  • Juxtapose deez nutz

    Foster’s work shows years of study. It demonstrates his familiarity with and his ability to draw the human figure, his understanding of color, perspective, and the use of light, AND that he has an imagination.

    Flores’ trace job “work” shows none of those things.

    My advice to young artists: don’t expect it all right away, you have to put in the work first. Instead of hyping your name all over town for some cred you don’t yet deserve and winding up “all sizzle & no steak,” go down into your basement and don’t come out until you know how to draw. You will be happier in the end when you can create your own quality, original work that didn’t require you to “reference,” “appropriate,” “reinterpret” or “pay homage to” another artist’s work.

    And to answer jayboogie’s question “what the fuck is truly new under the sun nowadays?” Well not as much as there could be thanks to uncritical, unimaginative, and uneducated dolts like yourself, but that is certainly not to say that real artists no longer exist. We are everywhere. Often in basements.

  • Fuck you!

  • Funny.
    I’ve ripped off an unbelieveable amount of unknown artists, stolen, traced, taken ‘inspiration’ sometimes and occasionally actually come up with original pieces myself. not much though.
    I’ve been doing it for 12 years and off the back of it i’ve bought my house outright and have enough money in the bank to live off for a good few years.
    I care not one little bit about what i’ve done. If i get caught i’ll admit it and smugly laugh in the face of the idiots that bought my work for a lot of money and i’ll say is that my entire artistic career was one gigantic conceptual art project based around lying and cheating and i’ll be hailed a fucking genius by people too stupid to know better.
    What a shame Sam can’t even come up with something original like that.

  • I’m from the remix generation. Is a remix a rip off? No. It’s all good to me. You are all worying too much aboot it. Take it easy and enjoy the nice pictures. :)

  • Roon Staar-

    A remix is a ripoff when it’s visual art that isn’t making use of a public domain image. In this case you just can’t compare music to illustration. There is a very long tradition of songs being replayed and “covered” by other artists, before recording was possible that was the only way a song could be repeated once the artist died or retired. Besides, there is only one “nice picture” here to enjoy, the ripoff is doubly offensive in that it’s such a poorly crafted image. This is art rape, not remix. I understand that the artist has apologized and it’s time to let it go. It’s the people defending this blatant plagiarism that are the problem. The more people who think this sort of thing is ok, the bigger the problem is.

  • Also, Jonesing-
    You’re probably going to get sued off your ass at some point. Unknown artists who are good enough to copy from eventually become well known artists. Have fun with that, and don’t be too smug. A lot of people make a living off of the work and talent of others, it’s nothing knew or particularly clever.

  • I don’t see any resemblance other than both subjects are in trees. Are trees off limits now? I am struggling on a painting I’m doing now that is 100 my idea that looks similar to Sam flores`. Should I write him and ask permission to use 1990′s graffiti style. It’s site’s like these that stifle creativity.

  • after looking harder I see the tree and many of the leaves are pretty much the same. If Sam bit the character- line for line- I’d see cause for all of this hype. I don’t think this falls into plagiarism or “biting”- I love when people use that word- obviously there are some harden tag bangers on this blog good grief get over yourselves and get back to art.

  • It’s no wondering you’re struggling to do a painting as it seems quite clear you have shit for brains, Travis. I can imagine a lot of things are tough for you.

    Honestly, to look at this and think the similarity is just people sitting in a tree… There’s an animated gif flashing back-and-forth between the two pictures and even with that you post questioning what the issue is… Good luck with your ‘outsider art,’ Mr Mentally Challenged.

  • damn sam!…you dummy!!! quit fuckn trimming your fuckin mustache and get to work!

  • david cassidy

    dude your shit sucks anyway…i mean its cool n all, its like comic book illustration, theres no real room for it in the fine art world…you never switched it up, never advanced, just kept up the same ol crap till u burnt it out, one trick pony. i actually cant stand seeing sams work, its so meaningless

  • Yes, it is a horrible mistake. But what have you created? Angry words on a website?

  • love the haters

    regardless of all this bulls!@#, he is talented. I would like to see half of the people come even close to his hand style, your all a bunch of haters, why dont you pick up a can, brush, or pen and try creating something yourselves rather then get mad bent out of shape over Sam and his work. If you guys opened your eyes you would also see a ton of OG pieces that he has accomplished without the use of any other artists inspiration or what everyone is calling stealing. I agree that their are close similarities between some of his work and older famous artists. But you guys are treating him like Vanilla Ice stealing from David Bowie. Come on ppl. He has a unique ability that you all wish you had, skills come from inspiration and then hopefully you build evolve and put your own unique spin on it to hone your own style. I have been writing graff former bomber, then book, now pieces custom vinyl figures and canvas and it took many years and hard work to find my own style. If it werent for writers like KET, GHOST, BRUZ, COPE2, CES, PER, SUB, EMIT, GAZE, JIVE, JEW, KINGBEE, DAIM, BATES, EGONSRIP, then I would have never been able to develop my own style. I never bit or traced but I saw and appreciated their techniques, and skills so I could eventually throw stuff up that meant a lot to me and made me proud. I am not condoning copying or biting other artists, but do you really think Sam Flores is that bad of a dude? everyone should ck out all his stuff, hes a generation x dude that combined a graff background into fine art w and Asian twist. Thats it. Take it or leave it. He still is an artists and has projects that are straight OG fire. Like I said anyone who is sooooooo upset should pick up a pen and scribble for a while and maybe pull some inspiration from somewhere, I write graff and I even watch old Bob Ross 30 min shows on PBS, not to bite but to utilize certain techniques that artists use in order to better themselves. I feel that even the closest “copy” that everyone is upset with is truly to send respect to the OG artists and show peeps what Sam can do as a reinterpretation. Look at the cover band scene, theres tons of talent that thrive off of other musicians that have already written and performed those songs. I am sorry to ramble but I think that some of the people angry at Sam just dont understand. Sam either way you got props from cats in NYC bro, maybe you will bless us with some shit one day. Keep your head up and congrats on the Kid Dragons, from the OG to purple, blue, grey, gold, and the oh so sought after blank. I got an OG KD and thats orignal ganster vinyl art my man, ill shit. Hate on that mofos!!!!

  • Eh, Sam Flores is an utterly empty, one-note hack. He’s been drawing the exact same thing his entire career. You know how everyone has that one thing they constantly doodle? Like, they don’t consider themselves able to ‘draw’ normally but when they sit talking on the phone they always doodle this one picture and it’s what you might call competently done. Well, that’s Sam Flores’ entire career. He draws the same face at the same angle again and again and again, the same hands, on and on. He’s got about five ‘moves’ and he’s been playing them out ad nauseum for all the years of his career.

    The reason he had to trace these paintings I think is not because of homage or because he’s like a cover band (a clutching-for-straws suggestion) but because he literally can’t draw. I don’t say that as an insult but as fact, looking at his work it seems reasonable to come to this conclusion. All he can do is doodle his one thing, nothing more, and to shake it up I think he HAS to trace/copy.

    I honestly feel bad for him, I have pity, but that doesn’t stop me from seeing the fact that he’s insanely repetitive and clearly struggling to get by. He’s like clip-art with his handful of stamps and I think he knows people are catching on to his act. He’s like a guy who can draw Spider-Man in three different poses from a never-changing angle – jumping; looking left; and swinging from a web – and he’s just doing that same thing again and again and again. Occasionally he’ll add spiky hair to Spider-Man’s head and in the background add doodle-like flowers (that even my Mom could draw) but always the same three poses for Spider-Man. This is the guy you revere as a “talent” with “skills” and “unique ability.” This is Sam Flores…

    He really is as lame as Vanilla Ice, I think, now that you bring that up. Flores is for “street art” as Vanilla Ice was to rap, I’d say. Flores is for kids in the suburbs who want to be “street,” basically. The sort that watch Bob Ross on PBS, yeah…

  • Ok, true, he got what he had coming for the fact that he traced the initial work of Jon Foster. No pardon for that. The way he made the pose of the girl sitting there was very uninspired.
    But, with exception of the Japanese series, pretty much all the other ‘examples’ of frauds are crap… Just because you can find similar images on the net doesn’t mean he copied them from there.
    You have no idea how hard it is nowadays to keep coming up with shit. And the audience demands that of artists. Keep producing, keep making more. Of course your inspiration runs dry after a while…
    I think with the pressing deadlines he made a wrong call to deliver these works and finish them fast.

    BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE OTHER WORK HE HAS MADE THAT WAS ORIGINAL AND NEW?

    If you’re not Picasso show some fucking respect. He worked hard to get where he is and deserves a little more respect than this!

  • To hell with Sam Flores, he is a rip off artist. I hate to say this, but many artists in the current art scene are nothing more than remix artists, using others work to comprise most of their own. Sam Flores does this, Shepard Fairey does this, that tool Mr. Brainwash does this, and on and on.

  • Squid, you’re an idiot. Who said being an artist should be easy, “you have no idea how hard it is nowadays to keep coming up with shit”. Boo fuckig hoo.

  • Youknowwhofuckdeedoo

    Sam Flores likes to mess around with entities way greater than himself that he shouldn’t even F*CK with. I see his face through the curves of his every word.
    This guy is a DORK and a massive RETARD. For every attack he makes, I come back with a thousand. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE GOD. You are an art world REJECT…with alot of surprises still coming your way. Like I said, for every attack, I kick back 1000 your way. Think before you act next time. You have the most disgusting personality I have ever met. You know who this is… Stick your paintbrush up your dirty ass.

  • he seems to have done that. once. what other instance is there? Check the stuff on his website. It is undeniably amazing . . You can look down, and touch your arm. See, flesh . . Human it is. And we are all here, in these bodies, for a while – - Sam is someone who, though he makes tremendous strides to lift us out of these bodies, cannot be held to a higher than human standard for making, indeed, a mistake. Though also, I too am remix generation . . and as long as its not some habitual thing, in my hearts of hearts, I do not feel terrible about this, maybe a slight wince, then its over. And both the pix are great.

    i love what dude said about basements! hell yeah, thats where we are. for now.

  • videoontrial.

    you guys all leave way too many comments, like you all clearly have no life. if you want something to do, rather than leaving nasty comments on a website that the artist probably doesn’t even know it exists, and isn’t going to see it so why waste you time? try going to make your own original piece or artwork, and see how many people it looks like you copied? probably, more than one. and the only reason that i am even leaving a comment myself, is because i happen to be doing a school project in art class, on sam flores. and all i wanted was a little bit of information for my presentation, and then this pops up. get a life.

  • FUCK U videoontrial… you are clearly a fucking toy and have no clue about art and originality. Doing a project on Sam Flores?? Fucking wow! Is that in hipster dick face studies? Good luck turd face x

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