Tal R wins injunction against pair of Faroese art provocateurs who wanted to use his canvas to make wristwatches

The Danish artist Tal R has won an injunction against a pair of Faroese art provocateurs who wanted to cut up one of his paintings and use the canvas to make decorative faces for their line of designer wristwatches.

Dann Thorleifsson and Arne Leivsgard, who five years ago founded the watch company Kankse, had purchased Paris Chic, one of Tal R’s brightly coloured Sexshops series, for £70,000 at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London in August.

Copenhagen’s maritime and commercial court ruled in favour of Tal R, forbidding the duo from going ahead with their project and ordering them to pay 31,550 Danish krone (£3,600) in legal costs, arguing that as the scheme was an alternation rather than a destruction of the work, it contravened copyright law.

The project, the court added, misused Tal R’s artistic standing for commercial gain, and threatened to damage his reputation. The artist’s lawyer, Jørgen Permin, said after the verdict that he was “very pleased with the very clear decision”.

“We hope it will mark the end of this case and that it will mean that Tal R and his fellow artists may avoid similar disputes in the future,” he added.

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