Anish Kapoor Declares ‘Victory’ Over National Rifle Association in Copyright Feud

Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate, 2006, Millennium Park, Chicago.


The British artist Anish Kapoor released a statement on Thursday declaring “victory over the NRA,” in reference to his months-long battle with the National Rifle Association over the organization’s unauthorized use of an image of his bean-shaped reflective sculpture Cloud Gate (2006) in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

Kapoor’s said the NRA has complied with his demands to remove the image from what he called its “abhorrent video” The Violence of Lies, which attacks the mainstream media with inflammatory rhetoric as images—including one of Cloud Gate—flash across the screen. “Their bullying and intimidation [have] not succeeded,” Kapoor’s statement reads. “This is a victory not just in defense of the copyright of my work, but it is also a declaration that we stand with those who oppose gun violence in America and elsewhere.”

As of early Thursday afternoon, the video on the NRA TV website still includes the Cloud Gate image (viewable around the 0:17 mark) , and versions of another NRA video, titled The Clenched Fist of Truth, including Kapoor’s work can be found on YouTube.

In March, Kapoor, in conjunction with Everytown for Gun Safety, published an open letter decrying the NRA’s use of the image of the work in its videos. In June, he filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court that called for a jury trial and sought at least $150,000 in damages. In an open letter in the spring, Kapoor wrote that the NRA’s video work “plays to the basest and most primal impulses of paranoia, conflict, and violence, and uses them in an effort to create a schism to justify its most regressive attitudes. Hidden here is a need to believe in a threatening ‘Other’ different from ourselves.”

Kapoor’s new statement also calls for the NRA to donate $1 million to the victims of gun violence, with a list of several charitable organizations including Everytown for Gun Safety, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, The Brady Campaign, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.“The NRA will not be allowed to use art in support of their propaganda,” Kapoor wrote in the statement. “We in our turn call for the clenched fist of resistance, solidarity, and humanity.”

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