DC Comics threatens Art Gallery.

J Marv

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'Gay Batman' show riles comics publisher

PlanetOut Network

published Friday, August 19, 2005

Paintings of gay fantasies involving comic book heroes Batman and Robin have raised more than just eyebrows while on display in a New York gallery -- especially for DC Comics, which owns the copyrights to the characters.

Lawyers for the comic books publisher wants the display closed and has threatened legal action against the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts gallery, which opened the exhibit in February.

The watercolor paintings by Mark Chamberlain show the superheroes in a number of semi-naked, homoerotic poses. One depicts the Caped Crusader and his companion kissing.

"DC Comics wants me to hand over all unsold work and invoices for the sold work," said gallery owner Kathleen Cullen.

The Web site Artnet posted several images of the paintings, and it reported receiving a similar letter from DC Comics. DC Comics reportedly refused to comment on the matter.

Conflicts over the use of commercial or cartoon imagery in fine art is not uncommon, according to Artnet. Both Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg settled suits over copyright violations in their work, and artist Jeff Koons took a similar case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost.

I understand why they're upset, but this is really kinda stupid. Maybe it is infringement, but come on.

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