Urban Outfitters has, once again, been accused of stealing an artist’s design with no credit. The latest controversy has seen the fashion giant appropriate a painting by indigenous artist Mitjili Napurrula and selling it as an outdoor rug.
Mitjili Napurrula is a Pintupi artist who began painting in 1993 for the Inkuntji Women’s Centre. Her work has cultivated acclaim within Australia and internationally. Featured in prominent exhibition’s Spirit Country: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco 1999 and featured in the Adelaide Biennial 2000, Beyond the Pale.
To say that there are similarities between Napurrula’s work and Urban Outfitter’s product would be a gross understatement. The company has blatantly ripped off the artist.
An uncanny similarity there @UrbanOutfitters pic.twitter.com/ws9nNLvj5e
— Anton Schirripa (@schirriant) April 16, 2020
Urban Outfitters are no strangers to controversy, the brand has a peppered history of selling products with stolen designs, cultural appropriation — selling Palestinian-style keffiyehs as “anti-war woven scarf”, launching a “Navajo” line, and tasteless gimmicks like a blood-splattered Kent State University Jumper.
You can purchase Mitjili Napurrula’s work here.