Lina Iris Viktor, a British-Liberian artist and painter, is accusing Kendrick Lamar of copyright violations over unauthorized use of her work in his “All The Stars” video from the Black Panther soundtrack album.
According to The New York Times, Viktor’s lawyer, Christopher Robinson, sent a letter to Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith alleging that her “Constellations” series of 24K gold paintings were duplicated without her permission in a 19-second segment in the video.
“The infringement of Ms. Viktor’s rights is willful and egregious,” the letter says, further stating that Viktor wants a public apology and for TDE to pay a licensing fee. The letter states the video “incorporates not just the immediately-identifiable and unique look of her work, but also many of the specific copyrightable elements in the ‘Constellations’ series of paintings, including stylized motifs of mythical animals, gilded geometric forms on a black background, and distinctively textured areas and patterns, arrayed in a grid-like arrangement of forms.”
Viktor says that she was contacted by Marvel and Disney to create work inspired by the Black Panther character for use in promoting the film, including a video, social media and premiere events. She turned them down due to the license involved, which she feels would have taken away the artistic control of her work.
While the art in the video isn’t a line-for-line reproduction of “Constellations I,” the geometric patterns and African diaspora-influenced aesthetic is remarkably similar in style, prompting OkayAfrica to cite her work in a post about the video. The design can be seen at the 2:59 mark below.