Justin Bieber’s Lawyers Tried to Shut Down a Gallery Show by an Artist Impersonating the Pop Star to Sell $100,000 Paintings

When a press release went out from 1 “Harry Gablowsian,” hundreds of pop lovers RSVP’d for the new gallery’s opening reception: “Justin Bieber: Paintings From Space.” The artist was promised to be current.

Even though most in the art globe conveniently observed via the ruse—Harry Gablowsian, of training course, is a engage in on the world’s preeminent mega-supplier Larry Gagosian—the exhibition built headlines in the New York Post’s Web site Six, which outed the venture as a hoax, and even prompted a cease-and-desist letter from Bieber’s attorneys.

Now, Artnet Information can completely reveal that the “Justin Bieber” paintings are essentially the work of Brooklyn artist Brian Whiteley, founder of the Satellite Art Exhibit, whose past couple of months have been put in in character as Bieber.

“As an artist who’s been seeking to split as a result of and make it, I thought it would be exciting to see the electricity of celebrity and the lure of the mega gallery,” Whiteley advised Artnet Information. “I’ve been advised I type of search like Justin, so it created perception to pick him.”

To far more totally embody the “Baby” singer, Whiteley underwent a comprehensive makeover, with blond hair, (momentary) tattoos, and a new, baggier wardrobe. He’s also been listening to Bieber in the studio, making an attempt to channel the musician’s artistic energy—a type of process performing meets conceptual functionality artwork, if you will.

Brian Whiteley in character as Justin Bieber forward of his clearly show at “Gablowsian Gallery.” Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Whiteley’s Bieber performs are created with acrylics, spray paint, and markers, in addition, in a nod to Andy Warhol, the artist’s personal urine. (He pointed out that the press release’s promise of “bodily fluids” had most individuals guessing semen.)

The task was partly inspired by the current furor impressed by Hunter Biden’s debut, and his controversial $500,000 selling price tags—money that no other emerging artist could at any time aspiration of earning from a solitary portray, no matter how very good, at their 1st gallery outing.

“You can tell why superstars turn into artists—all of a sudden you can make a buttload of funds,” Whiteley said.

The artist has manufactured viral information in the past, notably with his guerrilla artwork depicting an imagined Donald Trump tombstone, erected in New York’s Central Park for the duration of the 2016 election marketing campaign. But he was yet amazed how a great deal awareness “Paintings From Space” acquired purely on the energy of Bieber’s identify.

Brian Whiteley is showing his Justin Bieber paintings at "Gablowsian Gallery." Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Brian Whiteley is showing his Justin Bieber paintings at “Gablowsian Gallery.” Image courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

“You do so lots of art exhibits, and you see marginal returns 90 p.c of the time,” Whiteley stated. “Under the guise of a superstar, it was a thousand percent more—press, collectors, all the things.”

“The whole push launch is all artwork discuss, around the leading and silly,” Whiteley said. Even so, “collectors had been emailing me and signing NDAs to see the art, and the RSVPs had been as a result of the roof, wanting to see the clearly show, even immediately after the Site 6 write-up came out.”

Also posing as “Gablowsian,” Whiteley informed future collectors the performs ended up priced at $100,000 each—and he claims they ended up upset when he claimed they had been marketed to other consumers.

The one particular “Bieber” painting Whiteley leaked to the community, titled Cool Cat, was basically the work of his son, who is in kindergarten. Glasstire when compared it to the get the job done of Katherine Bernhardt, and he promises 100 men and women supplied to acquire a limited-edition print of the get the job done priced at $1,000 each—which would have brought in a cool $100,000. It will rather be on sale at the gallery for $125, along with the “Bieber” paintings—which variety from $2,100 to $7,400.

<em>Cool Cat</em> by "Justin Bieber" is actually the work of Brian Whiteley's kindergarten-age son. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Neat Cat by “Justin Bieber” is basically the do the job of Brian Whiteley’s kindergarten-age son. Image courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

“I feel they’re quite playful and fun with some thing underneath which is really dark and brooding—it feels like Bieber to me,” Whiteley said. “I think he would really like this art clearly show.”

The response from Bieber’s lawful crew, the Los Angeles regulation organization Myman Greenspan, on the other hand, indicates otherwise. The organization did not respond to inquiries from Artnet News, but their letter accused “Gablowsian” of “direct infringement of our client’s intellectual home rights.”

Whiteley’s attorney, Ronald Kuby, responded that the exhibition is “satirizing the ‘artistic’ community… We are deeply saddened to master that your shopper, Justin Bieber, both does not get epigrammatic parody or does not feel it is humorous.”

To be protected, nonetheless, Whiteley has rechristened the job “Justin Bieber Is Suing Me,” and the gallery’s Instagram web page now acknowledges the parodic nature of the challenge.

“Living as Justin Bieber has been the spotlight of my life,” Whiteley’s formal artist statement proclaims. “I thank god for the opportunity to bleach my hair, get new tattoos, and dance even though painting.”

See performs from the demonstrate underneath.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Do the job from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” series. Picture courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Function from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” collection. Image courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Perform from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” series. Image courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Do the job from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” collection. Photograph courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Function from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Perform from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” collection. Photograph courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Work from Brian Whiteley's "Justin Bieber" series. Photo courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

Perform from Brian Whiteley’s “Justin Bieber” sequence. Image courtesy of Brian Whiteley.

“Justin Bieber Is Suing Me” is on see at Gablowsian Gallery, Parasol Assignments, 212 Bowery, New York, November 4–7, 2021. 

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Kenneth Proto

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