Singapore—The question of who owns a person’s image when it’s been rendered into art has put a model and an artist at odds.
Their strife has gone online, and both women have expressed anguish over the matter.
The model is 22-year old Duan Meiyue, and the artist, 32-year-old Allison M Low.
Ms Duan’s likeness, as rendered by Ms Low, has appeared in a number of projects, which include Love, Bonito art installations and merchandise, a book cover, and an online store print.
The artist, allegedly, did not have permission to use the model’s image for commercial purposes.
In a March 15 Instagram post, Ms Duan wrote that she had wished to settle the matter privately but the artist not only “chose not to acknowledge this situation”, she also did not “properly compensate” the model.
Ms Duan added that she does not have the means to pursue the matter legally, and that she does not want to “instigate any hatred towards this artist”.
Part of her aim is “to educate other artists to not do this to anyone, model or not”.
Ms Duan added, “Do not commodify a person’s face without their consent. it is violating and exploitative.”
The model told mustsharenews that she had reached out to the artist about the art installations, but received no reply.
She said she called Ms Low to ask about the book cover, and claims that the artist told her she did not breach any legal boundaries.
Therefore, she would not compensate Ms Duan or issue a public apology, both of which the model had asked for.
Ms Low, who gave a statement to mustsharenews, said she had never meant to hurt anyone. When she sought legal advice, she was told that the model’s demands had no legal footing.
She added that she would be open to engaging with Ms Duan at the right time.
“The artworks I made were about the strength and grace in women and it was never my intention for art to ever bring harm to anyone, especially not through art that was made to uplift people,” she said in her statement.
She also added that it is untrue that she made no effort to respond to Ms Duan’s concerns.
Ms Low added that she had been told by Ms Duan that she would mention the matter on social media, but would not name the artist.
“However, on 15 Mar she published my personal information on IG to over 50,000 followers, and the issue is now viral. The relentless shaming and threats that followed have been mentally debilitating,” she added.
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