Outlaws NFTs spark controversy for similarity to Jeremy Booth’s art

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Stock Photo, tags: outlaws jeremy - pbs.twimg.com
Stock Photo – pbs.twimg.com

A new NFT collection called “Outlaws” by Outlaws.WTF has been raising eyebrows among some collectors who claim that the collection’s creative approach resembles the work of artist Jeremy Booth.

The collection features 10,000 profile picture (PFP) NFTs minted for 0.05 Ethereum each during last Wednesday’s public sale. The digital collectibles have already sold out, with the cheapest Outlaws NFT currently priced at 0.067 Ethereum on OpenSea, according to the marketplace’s website.

OpenSea showed that the Outlaws collection had generated over $5.6 million in total sales volume. The project was trending on the platform’s homepage on Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, a self-proclaimed NFT artist called Sadboi voiced his opinion on the Outlaws project, describing it as a moral grey area. Sadboi believes that the project is an apparent reproduction of another artist’s work.

“So… I’m pretty conflicted about that new pfp collection thats a pretty obvious reproduction of what another artist is doing here,” he wrote on social media.

His statement referred to Booth, a prominent NFT artist specializing in Western-themed art. Over time, the artist has developed a distinct style for portraying landscapes and characters, which is exemplified in his latest series titled “Dirt.”

Striking similarities to Booth’s works

There are some similarities between Outlaws and Booth’s Western-themed works. For example, both use cowboy hats, wide-open landscapes, simple shapes and deep dark shadows to emphasize facial features.

Elements from both collections resemble posters created by artists from the Works Progress Administration for the National Parks Service during the late 1930s and early 1940s. These posters depict iconic locations such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.

According to Outlaws.WTF’s official statement, the Outlaws collection aims to pay tribute to the numerous artists who have played a part in shaping the vibrant history and culture of the American West. The collection’s creators intended to provide a fresh and exciting viewpoint on the genre by drawing inspiration from these artists.

The Outlaws Twitter account responded to the accusations of plagiarism by citing other artists, such as Malika Favre and Levente Szabo. The company said that Western-themed art is not a novel concept.

The project also said it was transparent in its representation and did not claim to be Booth. It encouraged individuals to compare Booth’s portraits to that of Outlaws’ and notice the noticeable distinctions.

Booth then took to Twitter to clarify that he has no affiliation with Outlaws. He also said he had no problem with the Outlaws project’s style.

However, the artist highlighted a “red flag” in that the project’s official Twitter account mentioned his name while reaching out to potential collectors.

In a separate Tweet, Booth acknowledged that the release of Outlaws had impacted him, but he chose to rise above bitterness.

Booth’s professional journey

Booth, a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, has had a passion for drawing since childhood. He discovered a love for digital illustration through his design work and turned it into a career.

Booth’s journey began when he became tired of freelance work and secured a three-month contract with Coinbase for various design projects. This development later led to a full-time position with the company.

At Coinbase, he learned about the NFT space. He minted his first piece in February 2021, and after two days of no sales, he tried again and sold two pieces for one ETH each. This experiment motivated him to produce more work and experiment with a pop surrealist style.

The artist then ventured into the world of PFP NFTs and created a collection called Bushidos. This collection was eventually picked up and turned into a comic series by Web3 entertainment studio Macroverse.

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