Russian-American artist Georgy Kurasov recently had four of his paintings plagiarized by the Egyptian graphic designer, Ghada Wali. Kurasov’s copied originals are on display without his permission at the College Girls Metro Station in Cairo, Egypt. The paintings are not only a product of infringement, but they even include Kurasov’s name.
Kurasov is a highly stylistic neo-constructivist painter who faces cultural dilemmas from the public and art critics. Americans say he is Russian, while Russians claim he is American. Painters say he is a sculptor, and sculptors see him as a painter. The four copied pieces are originally oil on canvas.
Georgy’s wife Zina reveals they learned about the plagiarism from the Egyptian people through Facebook, citing that they “took photos of the designer and her ‘work’, and made videos of her art representation.”
Kurasov spoke to the Egyptian journalist Amany Ibrahim about the upsetting plagiarized artwork. Translated from Arabic to English, Kurasov told Ibraham that the stolen images are Penelope, 1995, An Egyptian Art Exhibition, 2001, and Egyptian Dancers,2005. The fourth copied work is 212, 2012, and is still available for purchase on his website under “available originals.”
Painting No. 38, titled Penelope is a nod towards Homer’s Iliad, highlighting ancient Greece. No.168 represents an Egyptian dance, dedicated to his series titled International Dancing.
Comparison of Kurasov's and Wali's works.
Zina confirmed that Cairo lawyers offered the Kurasovs to take legal action against the award winning designer. Georgy Kurasov is currently represented by the El Attar Law Firm in Egypt. The National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) and Dev Cairo Mobility released a statement acknowledging the legal action being taken upon being notified of the situation.
“We are closely following what is happening on social media and media platforms regarding the use of artworks by a Russian artist in the cultural project within the station.Accordingly, when the allegations are proven, we are currently studying the appropriate legal procedures against the agency to preserve all the National Authority for Tunnels rights and the RATP Dev Mobility Cairo.”
The NAT and Dev Cairo Mobility ultimately issued the notable artist an apology, “stressing [their] full respect for intellectual property rights of everyone inside and outside of Egypt.”
This is not the first time that Georgy’s work has been copied and commercialized without his consent. The Kurasovs previously expressed to me the lengths that they go to to ensure this doesn’t occur, and one can only imagine the frustration of the situation.
Below can also find Kurasov’s website, and direct links to his paintings linked within the article.