Artist Jeresneyka Rose said she was shocked and confused when she received messages on her social media accounts congratulating her on getting her artwork sold in Walmart.
“People were tagging me on social media to congratulate me on a collaboration that I had no idea about,” Rose, of Colorado, tells Yahoo Life. “I would have never known had it not been for social media.”
Apparently, the multinational retail corporation decided to use Rose’s artwork without getting her permission or even contacting her.
Happy #BlackHistoryMonth to me. Just another day in the life of billionaire companies stealing from small black businesses like mine. Next time remove the watermark and don’t profit off of people’s deaths weirdos. 🤍 Tag @Walmart . pic.twitter.com/FzbxAAoj4b— Jeresneyka Rose (@ArtByRizzo) February 5, 2021
The 29-year-old artist and owner of Art By Rizzo says Walmart saw fit to take a digital painting she created of the late rapper Nipsey Hussle and sell it in their stores. The multibillion dollar corporation is making money off of allegedly stolen art and didn’t even take the time to remove the “Art By Rizzo” watermark from the image.
According to Yahoo News, Rose is seeking legal counsel.
“I’m not well-versed when it comes to things like that, but there’s so many other artists out there that this happens to and they never find out — they never get their due diligence, so I just would like to see what the process looks like. I just know right is right and wrong is wrong — and this is wrong,” she told Yahoo News.
Walmart isn’t the first large corporation to steal from independent artists. Other retailers, including Target, Winners, Rainbow, Fashion Nova and Zara have similarly been accused of copying designs from artists and selling them for profit without the artists permission.